Showing posts with label Milbertshofen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Milbertshofen. Show all posts

Jewish Munich then and now

Munich Synagogues and Memorial to Reichkristallnacht
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 Die Kristallnacht, also known as die Reichskristallnacht (literally: Imperial Crystal Night), die Pogromnacht and in English the Night of Broken Glass, was a massive nationwide pogrom in Germany and Austria on the night of November 9 1938, (and into the early hours of the following day). It was directed at Jewish citizens throughout the country and was the beginning of the Holocaust. More information: http://www.ashkenazhouse.org
The Memorial Stone for the Destroyed Main Synagogue located on Herzog-Max-Straße near Karlsplatz, commemorating Munich’s former main synagogue, which fell victim to Nazi vandalism in June 1938 – several months before the pogrom of November 1938 known as the Kristallnacht or Reichspogromnacht. Inaugurated in 1969, the memorial was one of the first put up by the city to commemorate in the public arena the violent destruction of Jewish life. Built in 1883/87 within sight of Munich’s Frauenkirche, the main synagogue for four decades symbolised the importance and esteem enjoyed by the Jewish community as part of Munich’s social and political life. The spacious Neo-Romanesque building contained more than 1,800 prayer stools and was one of the largest Jewish places of worship in Europe. The demolition of the synagogue ordered by Hitler personally “for traffic reasons” was a portent of the events to come. Degraded to a car park under the Nazi dictatorship, the site was returned to the Jewish Community in 1945. The Community then sold the property to the City of Munich on condition that part of the site would be redeveloped as a memorial. The city duly invited sculptors from Israel and Germany to submit designs and in late 1967 the first prize was awarded to the Munich sculptor Herbert Peters. The solid form of the memorial is reminiscent of a cornerstone of the demolished synagogue and thus serves as a visual symbol of the building that once stood there. On the back of the memorial there are niches affording protection to certain key symbols of Judaism such as the seven-branched candelabra (Menora) signifying eternal light and life. The Hebrew inscriptions include quotations from Psalm 74, from the lament over the desecration of the shrine, and from the Ten Commandments.
Since 1998 the memorial has been the scene of an impressive commemorative event that takes place every year on 9 November, the anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht. Under the motto “everyone has a name”, young people, prominent cultural and social figures and ordinary citizens spend several hours reading out the names of Munich’s deported and murdered Jews together with their age, the date they died or were deported and their place of death. The memory of the thousands of women, men and children murdered by the Nazis is thus kept alive. Of the 11,000 Jews who lived in Munich more than 4,500 did not survive the Nazi regime. To mark the seventieth anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht in 2008, the readings were for the first time held at several different locations all over the city.

The synagogue in Munich was destroyed in June 1938, months before the Kristallnacht, and was the first synagogue to be destroyed in Germany in the NSDAP period.

Site of the main Munich Synagogue destroyed during Kristallnacht and after the war.
In the wake of the pogrom about 30,000 Jewish men were interned in concentration camps with their release made conditional on proof of arrangements to emigrate. Emboldened by their successes in foreign policy and by Germany’s growing military and economic strength, Nazi leaders apparently no longer felt they needed to take world opinion or foreign reactions into account (although foreign Jews were excluded from harassment by Heydrich’s directive). Hitler’s commitment to eastern expansion increased the likelihood of war in the near future and gave added urgency to the expulsion of the Jews, whose influence could be expected to weaken popular support for the war effort. While the official goal of the regime remained to force Jews to leave Germany, the turn to open, officially-sponsored violence in 1938 marked an important stage in the evolution of anti-Jewish policy toward systematic genocide in 1941.
Stackelberg & Winkle (222) The Nazi Germany Sourcebook
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The inauguration of the synagogue and Jewish Community Centre, part of the new Jewish complex on St-Jakobs-Platz. "The ensemble reflects the burgeoning renaissance of Munich’s Jewish population, which numbers around 9300, making it the second largest in Germany after Berlin." (Lonely Planet's entry for Munich, page 87)
 The Jewish Museum is part of the architectural ensemble on St.-Jakobs-Platz. It connects the Jewish Community Centre and the synagogue. The festive inauguration of the new main synagogue Ohel Jakob and of the Jewish Community Centre on 9 November 2006 marked the return of Jewish life to the centre of Munich. The architectural ensemble – which also includes the Jewish museum opened in 2007 – symbolises homecoming and the future. But it is also a place of grieving dedicated to the memory of the dead. As a reflection of this the thirty-two-metre-long underground passage joining the synagogue and the community centre was made into a memorial. The names of Munich Jews deported and murdered under the Nazis are inscribed on glass plates mounted along the passage, making it rather like a walk-in memorial book. Illuminated white areas behind the glass make the inscriptions stand out brightly , at the same time freeing them of their anonymity. The light also directs the visitor’s gaze to the two series of words on the opposite wall: “remember – grieve – commemorate – admonish” and “learn – make peace – speak – live.“ These words forge a link between history, tradition and faith on one side and the present day on the other. At the centre is a Star of David commemorating the nearly six million murdered Jews. The “Passage of Remembrance” conceived by Georg Soanca-Pollak is one of the most powerful of the works recently created to commemorate the victims of the Shoah. The memorial can only be viewed as part of the guided tours of the synagogue offered regularly by the Jewish Community.


Reichenbach Synagogue
In 1931 and in the aftermath of Reichkristallnacht. Reichenbach was the first synagogue to be reconsecrated in Germany, May 1947. Photo on the right taken 2007.
In a December 3, 2005 article in the Jerusalem Post, Judy Montagu wrote how her father had been in Munich on that date in 1938 and described the violence in In and Out of Harmony: Tales of a Cantor in the Hitler Era as hazan of the Reichenbach Synagogue:

On the morning of November 10, I got up as usual to go to the synagogue. On reaching the street I saw the warden of the congregation rushing toward me with tears in his eyes. 'Don't go the the synagogue,' he wept. 'We don't have a synagogue anymore. The SA have desecrated the interior....'
The photo on the left shows an example of the boycott of Jewish businesses on 1 April 1933, that of Bamberger and Hertz on Kaufingerstr. 22. It is now the location for a branch of NewYorker.

As with all shops officially declared Jewish by the Nazi state, Uhlfelder’s, which had already suffered several Nazi attacks since 1933, was plundered, almost totally demolished and set on fire during the Reichspogromnacht. At the beginning of December 1938 the business was liquidated and its stocks sold off at ridiculously low prices. The land was given to Löwenbräu AG in 1942 in compensation for the brewery’ s Bürgerbräukeller, which it had been forced to sell to the NSDAP. Max Uhlfelder was detained together with his son in the Dachau concentration camp. After the pogrom he was able to emigrate with his family, initially to India in 1939, and later to the United States. His sister Grete Mayer, her husband Josef and their son Alfred were among the first group of Jews to be deported to Kaunas on 20 November 1941, where they were murdered.
 Commemorative plaque for the Uhlfelder department store destroyed in 1938 at Rosental 16

Deutschen Museum

The museum had hosted a set of ideological Special exhibitions, which were conceived in Munich as itinerant exhibitions. 1936 saw the opening of the anti-Semitic and antisoviet propaganda exhibition "Der Bolschewismus" in the presence of representatives from 37 states. It had 350,000 visitors, who were brought in by special trains from throughout Europe. On the left, Joseph Goebbels and other Nazi officials are greeted by saluting Germans as they proceed toward the Bibliothek des Deutschen Museums for the opening of Der ewige Jude on November 8, 1937.
At the entrance to the exhibition "Der ewige Jude" in November 1937 and today. The exhibition was held in the Library of the German Museum until January 31, 1938. It was the largest prewar anti-Semitic exhibit the Nazis held. It emphasised supposed attempts by Jews to bolshevise Germany, It did this by revealing an 'eastern' Jew - wearing a kaftan, and holding gold coins in one hand and a whip in the other. Under his arm is a map of the world, with the imprint of the hammer and sickle. The exhibition attracted 412,300 visitors which was over 5,000 per day, seeing 400,000 visitors by January 1938.
SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. Franz Hippler was the most eager and unscrupulous among Goebbels's film experts who knew how to arrange the most disparate clips and most antagonistic arguments into a triumph of dialectical destructiveness. It was he who put together the morally most perfidious, intellectually most under­ handed, and ideologically most perverse mishmash that has ever been produced. This was Der ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew), made in 1940. Only human scum could bring out such a diabolical work. Together with Jud Süß (1940) and Die Rothschilds (1940), as well as the book by Hans Dieboro with the same title. Der ewige Jude raised the pogrom mood against the Jews to boiling point. These films and a number of other books were calculated to justify in advance the mass murder of the European Jews.
Hoffmann, Broadwin, Berghahn (173) The Triumph of Propaganda - Film and National Socialism 1933-1945
Der ewige Jude is certainly the "hate" picture of all time, and one of the great examples of the way in which the film medium can be used as a propaganda tool far greater than the printed or spoken word alone. Fortunately, the film is inaccessible beyond a few film archives where it is kept in the restricted division usually re- served for pornography, which is exactly the genre to which this film belongs.
Hull (173-174) Film in the Third Reich - A Study of the German Cinema 1933-1945
 Of the museum itself, Hitler had remarked June 13, 1943 that
One of the great attractions of the Deutsches Museum in Munich is the presence of a large number of perfectly constructed working models, which visitors can manipulate themselves. It is not just by chance that so many of the young people of the inland town of Munich have answered the call of the sea.
Jewish Open Hospital (1910-1942), Deportation Centre and Lebensborn Centre
In 1910 this, at Hermann-Schmid-Str. 5-7, was the site of a Jewish open hospital with attached sister home. In fact, Hermann Schmid was the name of one of two SA men stabbed to death in 1929 as referred to in Goebbels's diary entry for March 9:

Anka phones. She’s coming this afternoon for two days’ visit... In the afternoon worked at home. Frightful news: communists have stabbed two S.A. men to death in Schleswig-Holstein [Hermann Schmidt and Otto Streib]. The first storm comes! Blood seed, from which the new Reich shall grow.
After the Pogromnach of November 9, 1938 the ϟϟ took direct control, dismissed non-Jewish coworkers and reduced the medical and material supply drastically. In June 2-3 1942 all personnel and patients were transported to the collection centre down the street and deported to Theresienstadt. The following month saw the ϟϟ establish its 'Lebensborn' programme here. On the side of the building a memorial was erected.

There were ten Lebensborn homes created in Germany with the first built just outside Munich. Although they had incorporated the principle of selective breeding, as it enabled unmarried “Aryan” women to have children with a minimum of social stigma, it was not, as was once widely assumed, a “stud farm” that made men available to women who wanted to have children. Nonetheless, in his 13 September 1936 announcement founding the programme, Himmler took the opportunity to once again remind ϟϟ men that it was their duty to have large families as part of the Nazi effort to increase the “Aryan” German population:
As early as 13 December 1934 I wrote to all ϟϟ leaders and declared that we have fought in vain if political victory was not to be followed by victory of births of good blood. The question of multiplicity of children is not a private affair of the individual, but his duty towards his ancestors and our people. The ϟϟ has taken the first step in this direction long ago with the engagement and marriage decree of December 1931. However, the existence of sound marriage is futile if it does not result in the creation of numerous descendants.I expect that here, too, the ϟϟ and especially the ϟϟ leadership corps, will serve as guiding examples.
The minimum number of children for a good sound marriage is four. Should unfortunate circumstances deny a married couple their own children, then every ϟϟ leader should adopt racially and hereditarily valuable children, educate them in the spirit of National Socialism, and let them have education corresponding to their abilities.
[signed] H. Himmler
When I visited in the morning to look for mattresses for my new home just at the end of the road on Lindwurmstr. 125 , I didn't know I was entering the only remaining Jewish community centre since November 1938. Formerly a cigarette factory where a synagogue and office space were furnished, this saw in November 1941 the first Munich Jews to be deported to Theresienstadt. By March 1, 1943 the last remaining 483 Jews held here were gone, leaving in 1944 only 84 left in Munich.

Bahnhof
Milbertshofen
This station served as the scene for the deportations of Jews from stocks in the Knorrstr. The so-called “Jew settlement Milbertshofen” was from March 1941 until August 1942 close of the station and served as collecting and transit camp for Munich Jews. The deportations into the extermination camps took place with the National Railroad. The victims had to pay 50 RM travel costs proportion.
In October 1941, the Nazi leadership ordered the deportation of Jews in Germany to the East. Mina Blechner received a summons to prepare for "evacuation" on 7th November 1941. She guessed what fate would have in store for her. Mina was desperate, as she knew that she would never see her children again.
On 11th November 1941, Mina and the other men, women and children deportees were brought to the Milbertshofen barracks. On 19th November, a few hours before they were marched to the Milbertshofen freight depot, Mina wrote a letter to Jakob. Despite her desperate and hopeless situation she sought to give courage and strength to her children. This letter is the last sign of life from Mina Blechner.
The deportation train with 1000 people from Munich left the Milbertshofen depot in the early hours of 20th November 1941. After a three-day journey, the train arrived in Kaunas, Lithuania. The prisoners were taken to fortifications on the outskirts of the city. On 25th November, the infamous Einsatzkommando 3 murderer the Munich Jews, together with deportees from Frankfurt and Berlin. The mass shooting on that day claimed the lives of 1159 men, 1600 women and 175 children.

Commemorative plaque in the Palace of Justice for Jewish lawyers persecuted by the Nazis, unveiled on 30 November 1998. The unveiling marked the sixtieth anniversary of the day when Jewish lawyers were forbidden to practice their profession, thus excluding them from the legal profession and robbing them of their livelihood. A directive issued by the Bavarian Minister of Justice Hans Frank in April 1933 had already required Jewish lawyers to present a special pass to gain entry to the court building. The plaque, initiated by the Munich Chamber of Lawyers, commemorates by name those Munich lawyers who were persecuted, driven out and murdered on account of their Jewish background.

Office of Aryanisation (Arisierungsstelle)
The verb ‘to Aryanize’ (Arisierung) means to make something Aryan by eliminating the influence of allegedly inferior races. Also used as an adjective when speaking of or pertaining to the so-called Aryan race (e.g. Aryan art or art produced by pure Aryans).
By January 1, 1938, German Jews were prohibited from operating businesses and trades, and from offering goods and services. In the Autumn of 1938, only 40,000 of the formerly 100,000 Jewish businesses were still in the hands of their original owners. Through its office here on Widenmayer Str. 27, Aryanisation was completed with the enactment of a regulation, the Verordnung zur Ausschaltung der Juden aus dem deutschen Wirtschaftsleben of November 12, 1938, through which the remaining businesses were transferred to non-Jewish owners and the proceeds taken by the state. Jewellery, stocks, real property and other valuables had to be sold below market value. Jewish employees were fired, and self-employed people were prohibited from working in their respective professions. By the end of 1939, almost all Munich companies in Jewish possession had been expropriated, followed by the “Arisierung” of houses, apartments and fortunes of the entire Jewish population. This was completed by June 1943.
Two accounts related to this address are presented at Memory Loops (both in German):
http://www.memoryloops.net/de/384
http://www.memoryloops.net/de/306
 

Bavarian State Tax Office (Oberfinanzpräsdium)

This building at Sophienstr. 6 was constructed between 1938 to 1942. During the Nazi era this building administered the expropriation of assets of political opponents and racial undesirables through public auctions of furnishings. Regarding the “Arisierung” of Jewish property, the fiscal authority located here played a key role. After 1945 it was found that 1,589 Munich properties had been confiscated by this office.
Victims of Hitlerism still have to endure this symbol when entering a government building. That this building served a key role in the unrestrained plundering of the Jews during the Nazi period, its continued existence is all the more striking.
This less-offensive Eagle in the courtyard represents the Bavarian Free State. After the war this building served the American Military Authorities before hosting the America Haus (until it moved to the former Führerbau in 1948). This is also where the Bavarian State Parliament met from May 1947 until January 1949.
 
 A prominent victim of the “Aryanisation” carried out between 1933 and 1945 which took the form of a looting campaign of enormous proportions was the “Modellhaus Adolf Rothschild”, formerly the Palais Eichthal,  a dressmaker’s and furrier’s shop located at Brienner Straße 12. Owing to a dramatic fall in sales, Adolf Rothschild was forced to stage a clearance sale in September 1938 and thus sell the business for well below its value. Although Rothschild himself managed to emigrate to London, most of his assets were confiscated.

Also on Brienner Straße is the Kraft durch Freude - München-Oberbayern

The headquarters of the Upper Bavarian branch of the German Labour Front (DAF), whose goal was to bring together in a single organisation all »working Germans«, regardless of their training, social status or actual profession, and indoctrinate them with Nazi ideology. The DAF was made particularly attractive by the leisure activities and holidays offered by its Strength through Joy organisation (Kraft durch Freude– KdF). They were located here at Brienner Straße 26–28 when, 1935 the KDF took over the business premises and house of the Jewish antiquarian bookseller Jacques Rosenthal who was forced to sell the building to the Reich Leadership of the NSDAP for well below its value. Rosenthal died on 5 October 1937 in Munich, his wife Emma emigrating to Zurich in December 1939.
After the free trade unions were disbanded in May 1933, their assets were confiscated and many trade-union functionaries were arrested. They were replaced by the German Labour Front (DAF), whose goal was to bring together in a single organisation all “working Germans”, regardless of their training, social status or actual profession, and indoctrinate them with Nazi ideology. The DAF was made particularly attractive by the leisure activities and holidays offered by its “Strength through Joy” organisation (“Kraft durch Freude” – KdF). The headquarters of the Upper Bavarian branch of the DAF were located at Brienner Straße 26–28, and in 1935 the KdF took over the business premises and house of the Jewish antiquarian bookseller Jacques Rosenthal at Brienner Straße 26. Rosenthal was forced to sell the building to the Reich Leadership of the NSDAP for well below its value.
ThemenGeschichtsPfad (57-58)

 A number of other 'aryanised' buildings remain:
Bernheimer House 
 
One of the first addresses for the Munich art market. Goering was a frequent client, despite the ban on aryans frequenting Jewish businesses. After its 'aryanisation', the Bernheimer Gallery became the Münchener Kunsthandelsgesellschaft.
According to David Irving, during the Reichskristallnacht
Hitler had spent the night in Munich issuing orders to stop the outrages and sending out his adjutants to protect Jewish businesses like Bernheimer’s, the antique dealers. 
(341) Goering: A Biography
After the “Arisierung” the Bernheimer family returned after the war to regain possession of the badly damaged shell and to restore it fully. Today it is a furniture business. 

Bankhaus Aufhäuser  
The Jewish banking house Aufhäuser, founded in 1870, was 'aryanised' in 1938 and delivered into the hands of Hamburg bankers F. W. Seiler. It was returned after the war and still serves as a bank.

The "Kunstpalast" 
The Jewish businessman Arnold Drey built the so-called “art palace” in 1911 for his antique trade on  Max-Joseph-Straße. The architect was Gabriel von Seidl. Today it is the IHK building.

Volkskunsthaus Wallach
Owned by Jewish Bavarian traditional costumers Julius and Moritz Wallach on Ludwigstraße. After it became known that the owner intended to emigrate to the United States, the Nazis aryanised it. After he returned after the war, he managed to have the property returned although it closed down in 2004.