Showing posts with label Frauenkirche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frauenkirche. Show all posts

Nazi Sites Around Central Munich

 When American soldiers from the 42nd Rainbow Division arrived here at the town hall on Marienplatz on the afternoon of April 30, 1945, it marked the end of the Nazi era in the ‘Capital of the Movement’ and the beginning of the confrontation with what Thomas Mann called the city’s “tattered past.” The legacy of how this is still reflected in the way the city chooses to remember it is the subject of this page, and of my website in general. On the left is the view immediately after the war and me today taken from the top of the Neues Rathaus next to the Marienplatz showing the roofless Altes Rathaus looking up towards Tal road. It was at the Altes Rathaus where, on November 9, 1938 Goebbels gave his infamous speech initiating the nationwide Reichskristallnacht pogroms. The roofless Heilig-Geist-Kirche is on the right of the photo and its spire, without the copper top, is behind the church. The Talbruck gate tower had been completely destroyed by 1945 at a time when just under 3% of Munich’s buildings remained unscathed from Allied carpet bombing, which had targeted the city centre. Approximately 45% of the city's buildings had been destroyed, including more than 85,000 residential units which meant that 300,000 Munich residents were left homeless. 
Hitler's supposed drawings of Marienplatz just before the Great War.
The GIF on the right shows the square after the war and today with Drake Winston. One of the first tasks in the reconstruction of Marienplatz was the restoration of the Neues Rathaus, a neo-Gothic building that housed the city's government. Architect Georg von Hauberrisser, who had originally designed the building in the late 19th century, was posthumously honoured when his masterpiece was meticulously restored. The restoration was completed in 1958, led by architect Erwin Schleich. Schleich adhered closely to Hauberrisser's original plans, ensuring that the building retained its historical and architectural integrity. The famous Glockenspiel, a carillon situated in the tower of the Neues Rathaus, was also fully restored and resumed its daily performances in 1952. The commercial aspects of Marienplatz were also revitalised as Kaufingerstraße and Sendlinger Straße, the two main shopping streets leading off Marienplatz, were part of the reconstruction efforts.
The Fischbrunnen, a popular fountain that had been destroyed, was rebuilt in 1954 by sculptor Josef Henselmann. The fountain not only served an aesthetic purpose but also symbolised the renewal of commerce and daily life in the heart of Munich. The reconstruction of Marienplatz was not solely an architectural endeavour; it was deeply intertwined with the socio-political climate of post-war Germany. The square became a focal point for public gatherings and political events, symbolising Munich's resilience and the democratic aspirations of its citizens. In 1948, the currency reform was announced from the balcony of the Neues Rathaus, marking a significant step in West Germany's economic recovery. This event was attended by thousands of Munich residents, who filled Marienplatz to hear the proclamation by the then-Mayor of Munich, Thomas Wimmer. Wimmer's leadership was instrumental in not only the physical reconstruction of the city but also in fostering a sense of community and optimism among its residents. Marienplatz also regained its status as a hub for public transportation. The S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations, crucial for the city's public transport network, were modernised and expanded. The S-Bahn station was officially reopened in 1972, just in time for the Munich Olympics, an event that symbolised Germany's return to the international community (before being the stage through which Jews were again being massacred). The U-Bahn station followed suit, becoming operational in 1971. These developments were more than mere infrastructure projects; they were indicative of a city striving to move forward while respecting its past. The reconstruction of Marienplatz was a collective effort that involved not just architects and politicians, but also the citizens of Munich. Community involvement ranged from public consultations about the design elements to volunteer work in the actual rebuilding process. The square's restoration became a source of civic pride, a physical manifestation of the city's resilience and a tribute to its historical significance. By the late 1950s, Marienplatz had regained its status as the heart of Munich, pulsating with commercial, political, and social life. It involved the restoration of civic pride, the renewal of commercial activity, and the re-establishment of the square as a symbol of Munich's resilience and cultural heritage.
From the time of the so-called Beer Hall Putsch and whilst taking a school group from Naples, Florida on a tour. Julius Streicher, later publisher of Der Stürmer, is shown speaking in support of the putsch. The bus in the foreground transporting armed Nazis to Munich reads Hofbrauhaus F[reising].
At the Marienplatz the Nazi column encountered a large crowd which was listening to an exhortation of Julius Streicher, the Jew-baiter from Nuremberg, who had rushed to Munich at the first news of the putsch. Not wishing to be left out of the revolution, he cut short his speech and joined the rebels, jumping into step immediately behind Hitler.

Marienplatz swastika  

The neues rathaus with Nazi banner from 1933 after it was first was hoisted atop the tower on the evening of March 9 with the Nazi city councillor, Max Amann, announcing the "national uprising" to a "conspicuous crowd," according to the Völkischer Beobachter." A little-known, belated united front action by Social Democrats and communists attempted to prevent the hoisting of the flag, supposedly forcing the Nazis to hoist their banner only under heavy police protection. That day at a rally in front of the Feldherrnhalle, the Nazis made a declaration of war on Communism and Judaism as opponents of the new government were placed in "protective custody"and the first press bans were issued. That day Hitler appointed Franz Ritter von Epp as Reichskommissar of Bavaria. Accompanied by Upper Bavarian Gauleiter Adolf Wagner, SA chief Röhm and SS chief Himmler, he then forced Prime Minister Heinrich Held to abdicate. Held's resignation and the legal measures taken by the Nazis, above all the laws for the synchronisation of the states with the Reich of March 31 and April 7, 1933, marked the so-called seizure of power in Bavaria and the end of independent state politics. Meanwhile as the flag was being hoisted, the incumbent Lord Mayor Karl Scharnagl was forced to run the gauntlet through a trellis of threatening SA men like the two on duty as auxiliary policemen in front of the gate at the entrance that same year shown in my GIF below on the right, but was later able to leave the town hall unmolested and continue his business for another week and a half until replaced by Nazi Karl Fiehler over. He was joined by Christian Weber and personnel officer Karl Tempel, a lawyer and technocrat, acting as the chief ideologue in the town hall. Evans argues that the takeover of municipal buildings like the Rathaus was a calculated move to gain administrative control and to project an image of order and authority. The Rathaus was not merely a symbol but also a functional space where policies were formulated and executed. Its grand halls and chambers were converted into offices for Nazi officials, and its open spaces were used for public gatherings that propagated Nazi ideology. In this way, the Munich Rathaus was not just an architectural landmark but a multi-dimensional space that facilitated the Nazis' political and administrative agendas. Its historical and cultural significance was appropriated to lend legitimacy to a regime that sought to rewrite history in its own image.
SS men  auxiliary policemen in front of the gate of Munich Town HallIn addition, the late Eric Hobsbawm's analysis of the rathaus as a "stage for political theatre" is particularly apt given the building served as a backdrop for mass rallies, speeches, and other public events that were crucial for the Nazis' rise to power. Hobsbawm contends that the rathaus's grandeur and historical significance provided the Nazis with a sense of legitimacy and continuity, linking them to Munich's rich history and cultural heritage. This perspective is critical for understanding how architecture and urban spaces can be co-opted for political purposes. The rathaus was not merely a passive structure but an active participant in shaping public opinion and political ideology.
The rathaus's significance for the Nazis can also be understood through the lens of Kershaw's concept of "working towards the Führer." According to Kershaw, many lower-level officials and party members took initiatives that they believed would find favour with Hitler, even without explicit directives. The rathaus, in this context, became a site where local Nazi officials could demonstrate their commitment to the party's ideals. Public events held at the Rathaus were meticulously planned to showcase Nazi ideology, and the building itself was adorned with Nazi symbols and flags, effectively transforming it into a shrine for National Socialism. Moreover, the rathaus served as a locus for the Nazis' administrative activities most infamously following Kristallnacht in 1938 when a wave of anti-Semitic legislation was passed, much of which was announced or formalised within the rathaus. This dark chapter in the building's history is a focal point of Mason's work, which explores how architecture can be implicated in the machinery of state-sponsored discrimination and violence. Mason contends that the Rathaus, by virtue of being a seat of municipal power, lent an air of bureaucratic normality to the abhorrent policies being enacted, thereby making the unthinkable appear routine and even rational.  Furthermore, the rathaus was instrumental in the Nazis' efforts to rewrite history, a point highlighted by Burleigh. The building was often the site of exhibitions and displays that propagated the Nazi version of history, particularly the notion of Aryan supremacy and the vilification of other races and ideologies. These exhibitions attracted thousands of visitors, including schoolchildren, and were a key element in the Nazis' propaganda machinery. Burleigh argues that the rathaus, as a respected public institution, gave these distorted historical narratives a veneer of credibility that they might not have had in a less esteemed venue.
Munich Kristallnacht
The altes rathaus on November 9, 1938 on the night of Kristallnacht. Inside is the following plaque which reads: 
This ballroom of the Old Town Hall was for centuries the scene of magnificent civic gatherings and parties. The National Socialist regime abused this place for the planning of anti-Semitic crimes. In the course of a party meeting on the evening of November 9, 1938, a Germany-wide pogrom was instigated here leading to anti-Jewish riots. As "Kristallnacht," this pogrom was the preliminary stage of the destruction of European Jewry. 
It was here that Goebbels gave his infamous speech launching the pogrom after German diplomat Ernst vom Rath succumbed to his wounds that evening at 17.30 in Paris after being shot days earlier. Already by then several cases of antisemitic violence had already take place in two locations in Germany. Hitler and Goebbels discussed these incidents before attending a dinner together here at the Old Town Hall. It's here where Hitler, who had ordered his accompanying doctor Karl Brandt and the respected trauma surgeon Georg Magnus to Paris to go to vom Rath's bedside, learned about the death of the diplomat. During the meal, he immediately spoke to Goebbels, who informed him about the riots that were already beginning, and decided to “[l]et the demonstrations continue. Withdraw police. The Jews should one day feel the anger of the people.” Contrary to his habit, he refrained from speaking and left the meeting after the meal.  In his diary entry for that day Goebbels wrote: “I go to the Party reception in the Old Town Hall. Colossal activity. I brief the Führer about the matter. He orders: let the demonstrations go on. Withdraw the police. The Jews must for once feel the people’s fury. That is right.” Marienplatz Munich KristallnachtGoebbels then announced the news to the assembled party and SA leaders around 22.00. He used the death for an anti-Semitic interpretation of the assassination, in which he made "the Jewish world conspiracy" responsible for the death of vom Rath. He praised the anti-Jewish actions throughout the Reich, in which synagogues were also set on fire, and stated that the party did not want to appear as an organiser of anti-Jewish actions, but would not obstruct them where they arose. The Gauleiters and SA leaders present understood this as an indirect but unmistakable request to organise the "spontaneous" actions of "popular anger". After Goebbels's speech, they called their local offices at around 22.30 and gathered in the"Rheinischer Hof" hotel to pass on further instructions for actions from there. After the end of the commemoration, Goebbels himself had telegrams sent from his ministry to subordinate authorities, Gauleiters and Gestapo offices across Germany which in turn, passed on corresponding orders to their teams
In the course of the riots and the chaos in which they took place, numerous Jews were murdered. In a suburb of Bremen,for example, the mayor and chief of the local SA storm believed, due to a transmission error, that all Jews should be killed. The passing of this erroneous order led to the murder of a Lesum doctor and his wife. In Austria, SA men did not allow a newly married couple to take their few-month-old child with them when they were arrested. The baby was left uncared for in the apartment and died. How many Jews died in the pogroms cannot be determined with certainty. The Nazi Party's Supreme Party Court put their number at 91. In the specialist literature, it is estimated to be significantly higher. In addition to the approximately 300 suicides that took place, Richard J. Evans that up to 2000 Jews died in the November pogroms. Here in Munich the excesses of violence against its Jewish citizens doesn't appear to have triggered any particular horror. SA men had smashed the windows of Joachim (Chaim) Both's shop at 185 Lindwurmstrasse. When the couple returned from a visit to the theatre, they surprised the looting SA men. "We hadn't entered the doorway when about ten men who were standing in the doorway jumped at us and hit us with their hands. (...) Some men threw themselves on my husband and dragged him into the first When I went there shortly afterwards, the men were already leaving the apartment, and one of them punched me in the face." Marjem Both then found her husband's body in their son Max's room. The Nazis later attempted to legitimise such terror through numerous mass rallies held to paint them as legitimate retaliatory actions. In the Circus Krone, Gauleiter Wagner went os far as to justify the murder of Chaim Both by declaring that they "used this opportunity to get rid of the last synagogue and the last prayer room of the Jews in Munich, after all the Jewish shops have been closed and the Jews have been properly arrested, who have been responsible for this for a long time. If a Polish Jew had to lose his life during these events, it was only because he presumed to be able to interfere in German affairs."
Throughout this website- and further down this page- some specific examples of the terror are presented showing the sites as they appear today.
Hitler being driven through MarienplatzHitler being driven through Marienplatz whilst on his way to the state funeral of Dr. Gerhard Wagner, the Reich Medical Leader (Reichsärzteführer). Wagner was co-founder and later leader of the National Socialist German Physicians' Federation (NSDÄB), and from 1933 was a member of the Palatinate Landtag. He had also served as "The Führer's Commissioner for National Health." At the 1936 Nuremberg Rally, he discussed the racial laws.  In 1937 when he was promoted to SA Obergruppenführer before dying at only fifty for reasons unknown. Wagner had been jointly responsible for euthanasia and sterilisation carried out against Jews and the handicapped, and showed himself at the Nuremberg Party Congress in 1935 to be a staunch proponent of the Nuremberg Laws, and thereby also of Nazi Germany's race legislation and racial politics. Under Wagner's leadership, the Nazi killing institution at Hadamar was established. After the war at the Nuremberg doctors’ trial, Dr Karl Brandt, former Reichskommissar for Health, testified that “[i]n 1935 Hitler told the Reich Medical Leader, Dr Gerhard Wagner, that, if war came, he would take up and carry out this question of euthanasia because it was easier to do so in wartime when the church would not be able to put up the expected resistance” whilst also providing much-needed hospital space for the wounded.
American occupation HQ  Munich 
The entrance when serving as the American occupation HQ and today in front and me below on the side of the building. The rathaus's role as the administrative headquarters for the American occupation forces was not accidental but a calculated choice. Its central location in Munich made it an ideal hub for governance and control. The building itself was relatively unscathed by the bombings that had devastated much of the city, making it one of the few viable options for setting up an administrative base. Evans notes that the American forces were keen on establishing a visible and centralised authority to facilitate the transition from war to peace, and the Rathaus provided just that. It became the site where key decisions about Munich's reconstruction, denazification, and governance were made. Military orders, policy decisions, and administrative functions flowed from this building, making it a nerve centre of American operations in post-war Munich. The site also served as a venue for interactions between the American forces and the local German population. It was here that American military officials met with German civic leaders to discuss plans for rebuilding the city and reintegrating it into the new Germany. Carr argues that these interactions were crucial in shaping the American occupation policy, as they provided firsthand insights into the challenges and opportunities of governance in post-war Germany. The rathaus thus became a space where different cultural and political understandings met, clashed, and eventually found a way to coexist. American occupation HQ MarienplatzIt was a microcosm of the larger challenges faced by the American occupation forces in Germany, encapsulating the complexities of administering a defeated and divided nation. It thus served not merely a passive backdrop but an active participant in shaping the post-war landscape. Its grand halls and chambers were transformed into offices, meeting rooms, and even courtrooms where denazification trials were held. Hobsbawm emphasises the importance of these trials in purging German society of its Nazi past and laying the foundations for a democratic future. The rathaus, therefore, was not just a symbol of American authority but also a symbol of justice and the rule of law. It was in this building that former Nazi officials were tried and held accountable for their actions, making it a pivotal site for the moral and legal reconstruction of Germany. Finally, the rathaus's historical and architectural significance added a layer of complexity to its role during the American occupation. As a building that stood as a testament to Munich's rich history and cultural heritage, its use by the American forces was fraught with symbolism. Kershaw points out that the occupation of such a significant German landmark by foreign forces was a powerful reminder of Germany's defeat and the loss of its sovereignty. However, it also symbolised the beginning of a new chapter in German history, one that was guided by the principles of democracy and the rule of law, values that the Rathaus came to embody during the American occupation.
plaque commemorating the Munich Jews who were murdered in Kaunas, Lithuania
Inside the building next to the staircase leading to the first floor is this plaque commemorating the Munich Jews who were murdered in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1941. Put up in November 2000, the plaque was intended to express the “sorrow and shame of Munich’s population as well as their horror at the silence that prevailed at the time”. On November 20, 1941 one thousand men, women and children were deported from Munich to Kaunas and five days later murdered by firing squad marking the beginning of the systematic annihilation of Munich’s remaining Jews. Between then and February 1945 at least forty-three deportations of Jews were transported to Kaunas, Piaski, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Numerous people and institutions, including employees of the city, were involved in organising and carrying out the deportations. This memorial plaque, designed by Beate Passow, was put up on the initiative of the Munich City Archive which also donated a sign of remembrance at the memorial site in Kaunas which Passow used as a model for its Munich counterpart. The artist described how "[t]he pane of glass shows a photo of the memorial plaque in Kowno [Kaunas] together with portraits of Jewish citizens of Munich who were deported. The crime committed in Kowno is thus given an appropriate presence in Munich as well.”  The photographs were taken from the identity cards marked with a red “J” that Jewish citizens were obliged to carry with them from 1939. In many cases these photos were the last visible traces of their owners.
On the first floor is this Memorial Room. In 1951 members of the Munich City Council belonging to the Christian Social Union, the Social Democrats and the Bavarian Party tabled a joint motion to have a plaque put up in the town hall to commemorate those members of the city administration who had fallen victim to the Third Reich or died in the two world wars. A hexagonal, chapel-like room on the first floor of the wing facing Marienplatz was proposed as a suitable location for the plaque. During the 1920s this room had already been turned into a memorial to the city officials, teachers and white and blue-collar workers killed in the Great War, but it was destroyed by bombing in 1944. The newly refurbished room was opened to the public again in 1958 when the city celebrated its 800th anniversary. In the centre of the room there is an altar-like stone table on which a leather-bound book lists the names of those who died in both world wars. Inscriptions on the walls commemorate both the war dead and those who suffered political persecution under the Nazi dictatorship. A stone slab in the floor is dedicated to the “employees who died in service,” arguably placing them on a par with the victims of the Nazi regime whilst questions about any political and moral responsibility have been ignored.
The Munich City Council (Münchner Stadtrat) has been, since 1919, the local government and is elected for six years and meets inside the Great decorated boardroom, seen here in the meeting of July 25, 1933 when first led by the Nazis as the sole power in the city council of seventeen members and today. Among the attendees were the representative of the State Government, the Police Headquarters, the Reichswehr, the Protestant church council and others. Lord Mayor Fiehler used the occasion to praise Munich as the home of Hitler and the heart of the Nazi movement, stating that "[t]he struggle for power is over; now the reconstruction work has to begin." A longtime colleague would later describe Fiehler after the war as not having "a fighter nature- he has no strong elbows." When Fiehler took over the office of the Lord Mayor in 1933, he was perhaps the most qualified candidate in the eyes of Gauleiter Wagner precisely because of his weakness. Here in the city council, Fiehler did most of the Nazis' political work. Although he liked to present himself as moderate and prudent, he helped formulate the theoretical foundations for the Nazis' obstruction policies in the city council and made no secret of his rejection of democracy as well as his strong anti-Semitism.
Corner of the building at the entrance to Marienplatz during the Nazi-era and today showing a dragon- the Lindwurm- which was unveiled on June 21, 1907 and which represents  the local legend that in the time of the plague a huge dragon had flown through Munich and his poisonous breath brought death and destruction to its inhabitants. Instead of landing on the market square, it had been bested by a single well-timed cannon shot and thus spared the city the plague.
  The arch underneath the Old Town Hall then and now. Today it contains the Memorial to [German] Prisoners of War shown below on the right, dedicated in 1954 to those citizens of Munich who were still being held prisoner. It was unveiled at a time when 12,500 citizens of Munich were still registered as missing, many in the Soviet Union where their conditions in captivity varied depending on the location and the captors. However, one common thread was the harshness of the environment, particularly for those held in the Soviet Union. Applebaum describes the Gulag camps as places where prisoners were subjected to forced labour, inadequate food, and extreme weather conditions and Munich's PoWs were no exception to this grim reality. They were often used for labour-intensive tasks such as mining, logging, and construction in inhospitable regions like Siberia. The mortality rate was high, with diseases like typhus and malnutrition being common causes of death. The Soviet authorities were less concerned with adhering to the Geneva Convention than with extracting maximum labour from the prisoners which led to a situation where PoWs were caught in a vicious cycle of deteriorating health and increasing work quotas. The numbers regarding the survival and return of Munich's PoWs are sobering. According to figures from the German Red Cross, of the 12,500 citizens of Munich registered as missing in 1954, only a fraction returned. Moeller indicates that approximately 3,000 Munich PoWs returned from the Soviet Union by 1955. The rest were either confirmed dead, or their fates remained unknown. The psychological and physical toll on the returnees was immense. Many suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, malnutrition, and other health issues that made their reintegration into post-war German society challenging. The stigma associated with being a PoW further complicated matters. In the context of a defeated and divided Germany, these individuals often found themselves ostracised, their experiences largely unacknowledged in the immediate post-war years. The political climate of the Cold War also played a role in the delayed return of Munich's PoWs. The Soviet Union was keen to maintain leverage over the Federal Republic of Germany, which was aligning more closely with the West. Thus, the release of PoWs became a tool in broader geopolitical negotiations. Naimark argues that the Soviet Union used the issue of PoWs to extract concessions, such as recognition of the German Democratic Republic by the Federal Republic of Germany. This political manoeuvring meant that the plight of Munich's PoWs was not merely a humanitarian issue but entangled in the larger East-West conflict that defined the era. That said, it would be decades before any such memorial would be erected to the victims of German aggression. The deliberately restrained stone relief by Franz Mikorey reflects the view of prisoners of war then prevailing in post-war Germany, showing three grieving women awaiting the return of prisoners of war, whose sufferings the inscription tells us should never be forgotten. The location was chosen given the central position of the Old Town Hall on Munich’s busy central square Marienplatz, which ensured that as many people would see it as possible. In fact, during the Nazi era Mikorey's works were regularly represented in the Great German Art Exhibition, such as his Sonnengott during the 1942 exhibition. His Springende Pferde from 1934, dismantled in 1941, can now be found on Herzog-Wilhelm-Straße near the Karlsplatz-Stachus S-Bahn station and Rosselenker at Goethestraße 29-31.
After the war and with the old town hall behind me during one of my tours, and the Ludwig Beck shop being built amidst the ruins and as it appears today. The war saw the destruction of all the historic buildings on the south side including the "Peterhof" with its fine baroque gable façade. The ruins on the south side of the square were demolished in the sequence and the building line partly offset by several metres back, especially in the east of the square to create more space. In place of Peterhof was later rebuilt several times over the current Hugendubel book shop.
The Alte Rathaus as it appeared after the bombing and today. By December 17, 1944 bombs further destroyed the tower and the south wing, forcing the remains to be torn down. On the right looking behind the rathaus from Tal is the former "Zum Meteck" guesthouse, now an hideous Sparkasse bank. 
Indicative of the dominance of a traditionalist memory of the Third Reich in early postwar Munich was the stigmatisation and rejection of modernist construction projects as "Nazi." The proposal of Munich reconstruction chief Helmut Fischer in 1949 to demolish and erect a modern replacement for the ruin of the fifteenth-century city hall on the Marienplatz in order to ease the flow of automobile traffic through the Altstadt was eventually defeated after a petition campaign to save the structure found overwhelming  popular support among the local citizenry. Importantly, a significant portion of the statements of protest expressed the belief that the proponents of demolishing the venerable old city hall were "on the same path as was Hider, who could ... not tear down enough in order to modernise our city." The presence of such historically-charged comments against the measure-which one journalist in the Suddeutsche Zeitung compared to a policy of "euthanasia for buildings"—suggests the popular acceptance of the traditionalist position that Nazism was at once the product and promoter of modern forces. The ultimate prevention of the old city hall's demolition and its eventual reconstruction in 1955 thus seems to have been substantially supported by the traditionalist tendencies of much of the local population.
Auferstanden aus ruinen: The Roman-Mayr-Haus on Marienplatz and its dreadful replacement- the Galeria Kaufhof. For the construction of the execrable Kaufhof in the 1970s, the richly decorated Roman Mayr House of the previous turn of the century had to give way to Theo Pabst's modern design for the Kaufhof department store chain, completed in 1951 only after a smaller conservative wing, topped by a hipped roof, was added to its northern edge to mute its modern appearance. It was here that Dr. Wilhelm Gutberlet had treated Hitler for a throat infection early in the latter's political career. Gutberlet was an astrologer, a shareholder in the Völkischer Beobachter who had been described as the “Master of the Sidereal Pendulum,” who could divine the exact degree of Jewish blood in any person; he and Hitler were close personal acquaintances. Walter Schellenberg described him in his postwar memoirs as "a Munich physician who belonged to the intimate circle around Hitler" whilst Kater considers it "highly probable" that "another physician who helped the Nazi party financially from the outset, was also in this late nineteenth- century mould of anti-Semitism, even though his biography so far is still very sketchy."
Hitler's "Standesamt und Altes Rathaus Muenchen"
During the 1944 bombing of Munich, both the Alten Rathauses and the Kleine Rathaus were destroyed. The former was reconstructed by Munich architect Erwin Schleich from 1953 to 1977. On the left is Hitler's "Standesamt und Altes Rathaus Muenchen" (Civil Registry Office and Old Town Hall of Munich) painted in 1914 which recently sold for £103,000 (130,000 euros) at an auction in Nuremberg.  The painting is one of about 2,000 works that Hitler painted between about 1905 and 1920 as a struggling young artist. Asked before the auction whether it was tasteless to auction the Nazi dictator's works, generally considered to be of only limited artistic merit, the auctioneers  said complaints should be addressed to the sellers – two unidentified German sisters in their 70s.  Apparently the original handwritten bill of sale, dated September 25, 1916, had come with the painting and was a rarity for Hitler's art. That also explained the relatively high selling price, she said. But that has raised doubt among critics about the painting's provenance. They recall how hoaxer Konrad Kujau used supposed certifications of authenticity to trick some historians when he marketed what proved to be bogus "Hitler Diaries" in 1983.
Viktualienmarkt nsdap 
The Viktualienmarkt during the Nazi-era when it was made off-limits to Jews, after the war and today
A bird's eye view of the site in 1858 and today showing the postwar development all around.
When Marienplatz became too small as a market for cereals and other agricultural products, the Viktualienmarkt was created by a decree issued by King Maximilian I on May 2, 1807. In the course of time many additions were made to the market, as for example a butchers' hall, a tripe hall, pavilions for bakeries, fruit vendors and a fish hall. During the war this square with its cosy atmosphere was severely damaged. There was even talk of closing down the market in order to erect multi-story buildings on this valuable site. Instead, the municipal authorities revitalised Viktualienmarkt with considerable financial support, and the citizens of Munich added to it with memorial fountains for the folk singers and comedians Karl Valentin, Weiß Ferdl and Liesl Karlstadt. Later, further memorial fountains for the folk singers and comedians Ida Schumacher, Elise Aulinger and Roider Jackl were added.
Hitler's painting of Peterskirche
LEFT: Hitler's painting of the Peterskirche from the Viktualienmarkt in 1914
One of the first prominent buildings to receive the people of Munich's concerned attention was the Peterskirche (St. Peter's church). Dating back to 1169, the oldest church in the city had been hit during Allied aerial attacks in 1944-45 and suffered severe damage to its tower (known as der Alte Peter), roof, nave, and choir, as well as its baroque and rococo interior, including several altars. Initial prospects for the church were grim. The head of the BLED, Georg Lill, initially felt enough frustration to consider tear[ing] down everything." While preparations were being made to demolish much of the ruin, however, public opinion intervened and played a decisive role in the decision to reconstruct the entire Peterskirche. Inspired by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber's remark that "I cannot imagine Munich without the Peterskirche," saving the church became what parish priest Max Zisti described as eine urmünchnerische Angelegenheit - a matter of fundamental concern for the city. By 1950, a newly formed citizens' group, the Wiederaufbau-Verein Alter Peter, had collected extensive funds for reconstructing the church's tower. That and a declaration of support by the city council led church officials and historic preservationists to reconstruct the church to its exact prewar form.
The principle of creative historic preservation guided the reconstruction of the Peterskirche. "It was," as Oswald Hederer has written, "a matter not of conservation, but of restoration, ... of reconstructing, supplementing, and reproducing that which had been lost." Speaking about the restoration project in 1954, the main theorist of creative historic preservation, Rudolf Esterer, stressed the importance of "restoring the personality-value of the damaged original and once again granting it its former forceful radiance.
Its ruins in 1945 and today.
Underpinned by such principles, the reconstruction effort first targeted the tower, whose Renaissance-era steeple was restored to its prewar form in 1951. Thereafter, the work shifted to the heavily-gutted interior. In this area, the efforts of numerous artisans, in particular the young architect Erwin Schleich, later to become the city's most influential advocate of reconstructing war-damaged buildings, were instrumental in successfully restoring the church. Although the Peterskirche's interior columns, pilasters, and vault were partially intact and merely had to be repaired, the heavily damaged altars and delicate rococo ornamentation had to be nearly completely reconstructed from prewar photographs. 
Aware of the objections that such The exact manner of the Peterskirche's reconstruction, however, had problematic implications for the representation of the recent past. Not surprisingly, the "new" form of the church visually denied its wartime fate. As one observer noted in 1953, "We once again have the tower of St. Peter. Its trusted silhouette ... soars in the sky as if nothing had happened. According to another in 1954, "he who did not know the [church's) ruin will hardly believe that the grandeur that he sees today was reborn out of destruction. ... The image of before and the reality of today are nearly perfectly matched. 1994 For his part, Rudolf Esterer proudly asserted that church officials had little idea which parts of the Peterskirche were new and which were reproductions. In short, the impression that the reconstructed church was the same as the original marked the fulfillment of many citizens' desire to undo the war's destruction.
Gavriel D. Rosenfeld (32-34) Munich and Memory

The ascent from the Viktualienmarkt to the Peterskirche in 1879 and today showing how, during the postwar reconstruction, the area was tidied up to provide more space. The right shows the church from the north of the Rindermarkt before the war and today.
FruaenkircheShowing the area before and after the "New Town Hall" was built between 1867 and 1908 and in 1945 immediately after the war and today. The Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, is Munich's main cathedral and with its distinctive twin towers, serves as one of the main landmarks in the city. Just before the Nazi seizure of power between 1930 to 1932, the neo-Gothic furnishings underwent extensive restoration work. The colours of the walls and vaults were changed, whilst the furnishings were retained. The cathedral suffered severe damage during the war - the roof collapsed and one of the towers suffered severe damage as shown below with my uncle demonstrating the building today after a major restoration effort which began after the war and which was carried out in several stages, the last of which came to an end in 1994.
Although the late Gothic cathedral had suffered heavy damage to its trademark twin onion domes, vault, choir, and nave, as well as to its interior neo-Gothic pulpit and altars, in air raids during 1944-45, its immense importance to Munich's citizenry led to its swift reconstruction. Despite being preoccupied with their own problems in the immediate postwar months, many local citizens volunteered to clear rubble from the cathedral grounds. Citizens' groups such as the Domkirchenstiftung Unserer Lieben Frau and especially the newly expanded Bürgerbund Alter Peter-Frauentürme were formed to help with the reconstruction. No doubt expressing the sentiment of many, the Süddeutsche Zeitung concluded, "[t]here can be no argument against rebuilding the Frauenkirche. The structure is too venerable, too important to our heimatliches cultural legacy, too münchnerisch. ... Without the Frauenkirche, Munich would not be Munich." Fruaenkirche 
Despite this sentiment, however, the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche was somewhat less exact than that of the Peterskirche. Although the exterior of the cathedral was generally rebuilt to its prewar appearance, the extensive destruction of the neo-Gothic interior required a far simpler restoration. Painted white throughout, the interior was sparsely outfitted with a new, relief-encrusted, reinforced-concrete pulpit, modest stained-glass windows, and modern lighting fixtures. To a degree, this inexact restoration reflected a certain willingness to accept the extensive losses to the cathedral's interior identity. Other reconstruction proposals voiced at the ambitious proposals were defeated, however, in favour of a plan that allowed the cathedral to once again approach its prewar form. Following the restoration of its twin onion domes in 1953, work continued and the cathedral eventually was reopened to the public in 1957.  The towers and the interior were finally restored in 1989. Only the stained glass of the choir windows and individual paintings and sculptures have survived from the original furnishings, which were supplemented by other pieces that were taken to the Diocesan Museum in Freising after purification. Since the thorough restoration from 1989 to 1994, the interior of the church is richer than it was in the first decades after the war.
BELOW: The interior then and now with Drake Winston 
PeterskircheAs with the Peterskirche, the manner in which the Frauenkirche was rebuilt reflected the intentions behind it. Only the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche as exactly as possible to its prewar form could satisfy the citizenry's desperate desire to preserve the city's cultural identity. Still, as at the Peterskirche, clear signs of the inability to mourn appeared at the Frauenkirche. The tendency to identify with the victim was exhibited in the 1951 assertion by Karl Abenthum, a priest of the cathedral, that the people of Munich had faced the "horror of devastation" visible in the ruin of the Frauenkirche and had begun the process of reconstruction in the same way that the Jews of antiquity, returning from exile, had been forced to begin the long work of rebuilding the temple destroyed by the Babylonians. Though cloaked in a more distant historical analogy, this comparison with the historical fate of the Jews-the most obvious victims of the Third Reich-allowed at least some citizens to feel justified in rebuilding what had been destroyed, in part, by the deeds of their fellow citizens. 
Maxburgstrasse Hiter
Hitler in triumph down Munich's Maxburgstrasse towards Marienplatz after the return of Memel, March 26, 1939 in Hugo Jaeger colour photograph, and with Drake Winston today. This achievement had 
restored the East Prussian frontier, in the Memel region, to the line confirmed by Napoleon and the Russians in their treaty at Tilsit-on-the-Niemen in 1807. This line in turn was recognised by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and it was the identical boundary established at the Peace of Thorn in 1466 between Poland-Lithuania and the German Order of Knights. It was evident that the March 1939 Memel agreement was a conservative step rather than a radical innovation. The Allied victors at Paris in 1919 had detached Memel from East Prussia.cThey had seized a city which in the seven centuries of its history had never been separated from its East Prussian homeland.
Hoggan (219-220) Forced War
Alte Akademie
In front of the Alte Akademie, also known as the Wilhelminum, shown after the war and today as it is currently being renovated. Dating from the 16th century, it fell victim to air raids in April 1944 after collection catalogs and valuable archive material had already been destroyed the year before. This included he original finds of the dinosaurs discovered by Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach in Egypt were destroyed during this Allied bombing raid on Munich including the first skeleton found of the Spinosaurus. Hans Krieg, the director of the Alte Akademie museum where these important fossils were kept, had ignored Stromer's desire to keep these dinosaurs in a safe place. Thanks to Stromer's exact records - which were also viewed by the paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim in Grünsberg Castle - his findings were able to eventually help create a digital skeleton model of what may be the largest known carnivorous dinosaur. 
After the war, only were window axes were left on the south wall of the building, which is adjoined to the east by St. Michael's Church. The building complex was rebuilt by Josef Wiedemann based on the old structures. He reconstructed the gabled building in the middle in its original form. The arrangement of the inner courtyards with the ornamental courtyard, the monastery courtyard, the jewelery courtyard and the economic courtyard (of the state office) has so far been retained.
Drake Winston in front of St. Michael's church at the same location. Having suffered severe damage during the November 1944 bombing, the church was restored in 1946-48. It was not until the early 1980s that the stucco-work was restored. The spire which lost its steeple top during the wartime bombing is situated further north next to the former convent. Across the way is Altheimer Eck shown then and now. Just around the corner from Michael's church is the Polizeipräsidium (Hauptant - Oberstes ϟϟ und Polizeigericht):
The blood flag being triumphantly reclaimed on March 15, 1933 from the police headquarters on Ettstraße where it had been confiscated after the Beer Hall putsch attempt a decade earlier. Behind at the main entrance are still Bernhard Bleeker's Liegende Löwen (Lying Lions) dating from 1914-15. His works can be found throughout Munich and this site. This is where the Nazis' bureaucracy of oppression started, at Ettstraße 2. Amongst Hitler's opponents, the house on Ettstrasse was known as Mörderzentrale. On the right below SA leader Ernst Roehm and a SA cohort raising a 'Sieg Heil!' to Hitler in 1933. In July 1932, Heydrich's counterintelligence service grew into an effective machine of terror and intimidation. With Hitler agitating for absolute power in Germany, Himmler and Heydrich wished to control the political police forces of all seventeen German states, and they began with the state of Bavaria. The police here had already shown their political colours long before this point: in the suppression of the Soviet Republic by pre-fascist Freikorps, in the more or less undisguised sympathy of senior Munich police officers for nationalist and anti-Semitic thinking, legend and writing. Although the attempted putsch of 1923 was crushed by the Munich police, it is also true that Ernst Pöhner, then chief of police, would have become prime minister of Bavaria had the putsch succeeded. Pöhner had protected protective right-wing extremists wanted by the state as for example the leader of the Kapp putsch of 1920, captain lieutenant Hermann Ehrhardt and his followers, as well as about the murderers of former finance minister Matthias Erzberger.
The latter were able to remain in Munich for days after fleeing the Black Forest whilst warrants were already being issued to search for them. The police headquarters here even went so far as to give these terrorists false identification papers. In mid-September 1921, the social-democratic “Vorwaerts” also asked rather rhetorically: "Is it true that the traitors, Lieutenant Captain Ehrhardt and Colonel Bauer, who were on wanted papers, went in and out of Munich with the head of the local police force, Police Director Poehner?" Two years earlier on June 10, 1921, the left-wing social-democratic “Freiheit” newspaper based in Berlin damned Pöhner as a “dubious individual [who] bears the main blame for the utter demoralisation and decay of conditions. All this fellow's activity was directed towards the persecution of the workers' movement, whilst the bandits of order could always be sure of his loving support… Poehner belongs in court for abetting terrorist activity.” Despite this, Pöhner moved as a councillor to the Supreme Regional Court in Munich.
Like the other putschists, he was only sentenced to a light sentence and released after three months.  Shortly after the putsch attempt he died in a car accident. In contrast, Pöhner's right-hand man Wilhelm Frick, who also had to resign in 1921, was only at the beginning of his political career. In 1930 he took over the as the Nazis' Thuringian Ministry of the Interior and in 1933 he became Hitler's Reich Minister of the Interior.
SA leader Ernst Roehm and a SA cohort raise a 'Sieg Heil!' to Hitler on the left in 1933 when Heydrich gathered some of his men from the SD and together they stormed this building and took over the police using intimidation tactics seen on the left with men of the SA-Standarte 'Muenchen II' marching past the building with swastika flags during the Nazis' so-called seizure of power.
Himmler became commander of the Bavarian political police with Heydrich as his deputy. The Bavarian officers knew that an ϟϟ take-over was inevitable and feared reprisals for all their past battles with the Nazis during demonstrations and street fights and expected, at the very least, to be fired. In a long series of closed-door sessions, Heydrich subjected each officer to a gruelling interrogation on his methods and policies before calling the officers back and telling them one at a time that they would retain their jobs — as members of the SD. The officers were vastly relieved, assuring Heydrich that they were ready to serve without reservation. In one move, he had converted them from enemies to allies. One by one Himmler and Heydrich extended ϟϟ sway over fourteen of the remaining fifteen state political police forces. In his funeral eulogy for Heydrich in 1942, Himmler stated
After we came to power, I became Munich police chief on March 12, 1933. I immediately gave Heydrich the so-called political division of the presidium. In no time he re-organised the division, and in a few weeks transformed it into the Bavarian Political Police. Soon the division became a model for political police departments in non-Prussian German territory.
From there, the duo moved on to the police forces of the sixteen remaining German states so that from 1933 all police bodies in Germany were subjected to the Nazis' claim to power and centralised. However, in the end there were only minor changes in personnel. The interior ministers of the federal states now exercised their police powers on behalf of the Reich. Bavaria's police forces may have lost their organisational autonomy, but not their power in the country. The Secret State Police, known in Bavaria as the Bavarian Political Police until 1936, became independent and was detached from the existing legal norms. In 1936 the police system received a new structure throughout the Reich. The uniformed security teams, the gendarmerie, the small community police and the water, fire and air protection police were combined into the order police. The criminal police and Gestapo now formed their own security police apparatus, which from 1939 was merged with the ϟϟ into the Reich Security Main Office. Another feature of the police force in the Nazi state was its pronounced militarisation. In 1935 the barracked Bavarian State Police was dissolved, as in the other states of the Reich, and transferred to the Wehrmacht. After that, however, the formation of new police battalions began, which were used from the beginning of the war in 1939 to secure the rear front area, to "fight partisans" and to carry out mass killings in the east. At the same time, police reservists were recruited to reinforce the “home front”.
On the left, Franz Ritter von Epp leading a Nazi march past the headquarters in 1933, the year when, on the orders of Hitler and Frick, he abolished the Government of Bavaria and set up a Nazi regime with himself as Reichskommissar. On April 10 Hitler appointed him Reichsstatthalter for Bavaria. In this position he often clashed with Bavaria's Nazi Minister-President Ludwig Siebert. Epp's attempt to limit the influence of the central government on Bavarian politics failed. He, however, retained his post as Reichsstatthalter until the end of the war, although by then he was politically insignificant. The day-to-day service in the protection and criminal police during the Nazi regime was characterised by extensive responsibilities that were not bound by the rule of law. The police turned out not only to be an instrument of political persecution. For example, as part of the "preventive fight against crime" socially deviant behaviour patterns of all kinds came into the sights of the police officers. The police participated in the exclusion and deportation of the Jews as well as in the brutal disciplining of foreign forced labourers and concentration camp prisoners. In this way, police officers often became the perpetrators themselves, and the police the executors of a criminal regime. Any supposed positive image of the police as “friends and helpers” was deliberately misused. 
On the left is the entrance on Augustinerstraße 2. Despite the clear Nazi-esque imagery, the fresco painting by Bruno Goldschmitt of a knight and woman representing fecundity is shown here from Theodor Fischer's Öffentliche Bauten published in 1922. Goldschmitt joined the Nazi Party in 1932, described by Anja Prölß-Kammerer in Die Tapisserie im Nationalsozialismus as a keen party member. In a 1935 letter to the board of directors of the "Deutsche Kunstgesellschaft" of which served as head of alongside Hitler's chief ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, he wrote of Jews and communists as an "introduced rotten sponge" that had to be removed from the art of "awakened Germany". His controversial tapestry with supposed hidden Nazi symbols continues to hang in Pasing's town hall council chamber.
This was also the location for the German TV series “Derrick”. In April 2013 it was revealed that the star, Horst Tappert, had joined the infamous 3.ϟϟ-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf, then employed on the Eastern Front, in March 1943. Jan Erik Schulte, an expert on the history of the ϟϟ, said that the circumstances of Tappert's membership in the ϟϟ and the question of whether he was pressured or coerced to join remain unclear. The "Liebstandarte" division was the premier fighting unit of the Waffen-ϟϟ, officered by committed Nazis and guilty of numerous war crimes and atrocities (especially on the Eastern Front).
Kershaw in The End - The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany wrote how 
[o]fficials in the Munich police department spent time and energy (as well as using reams of precious paper) in December 1944 making sure that five cleaning‑buckets were ordered to replace those lost in the recent air raid, deciding how to obtain copies of official periodicals that regulations said had to come from post offices (even though these were now destroyed), or obtaining permission for a usable iron heater to be taken to police headquarters, left without heating after the last bombing.
On the corner of Ettstraße and Neuhauserstraße is an example of the 'aryanisation' of Jewish businesses: "Now Aryan"- newspaper advertisement for the Lindner photo shop. This process involved the transfer of Jewish property into "Aryan" hands in order to "de-Jew the economy".  The process started in 1933 in with so-called "voluntary" transfers of Jewish property and ended with the Holocaust. At first the destitution of Jewish victims was concealed under a veneer of legality before property was more openly confiscated. In both cases, aryanisation corresponded to Nazi policy and was defined, supported and enforced by Germany's legal and financial bureaucracy. Before Hitler came to power Jews owned 100,000 businesses in Germany. By 1938, boycotts, intimidation, forced sales and restrictions on professions had largely forced Jews out of economic life. Of the 50,000 Jewish-owned stores that existed in 1933, only 9,000 remained in 1938. Munich became a testing ground for the implementation of such anti-Semitic laws and policies. Kershaw argues that the city's historical significance for the Nazi Party made it a focal point for the enforcement of racial purity laws. Indeed, records indicate that by 1938, nearly all Jewish businesses in Munich had been Aryanised, meaning they were either shut down or transferred to non-Jewish ownership. The speed and efficiency with which these laws were implemented in Munich underscore the city's role as a crucible for anti-Semitic policies. The Nuremberg Laws were not static; they evolved over time to include more prohibitions and restrictions, each more draconian than the last. For example, a decree in 1938 prohibited Jews from changing their residences without police permission, effectively confining them to specific areas and making it easier for authorities to monitor and control their movements.

Further along is a reminder of the boycott of Jewish businesses on April 1, 1933, that of Bamberger and Hertz on Kaufingerstraße 22 with Drake Winston on the left and me below showing the site today, extensively rebuilt.
The Nazi authorities were quite sensitive to public opinion, and responded to public disquiet over Nazi policy towards the Catholic Church, for instance, by moderating policy. Similarly, after the initial failure of the economic boycott in April 1933, Nazi policy on Jews was ratcheted up gradually with one eye to public reactions. The fact that the authorities nevertheless continued increasing the level of persecution of Jews indicates both the centrality of antisemitism to Nazi ideology, but also the relative apathy with which non-Jewish Germans regarded the fate of their Jewish fellow citizens. There was simply not the same degree of outrage and resistance that there was on other issues.
Another notable example of such Jewish-owned businesses being boycotted and later seized is the renowned Munich department store Hermann Tietz, which was Aryanised and renamed Hertie. The economic disenfranchisement was part of a calculated strategy to impoverish Munich's Jewish community, making them more vulnerable to further persecution and eventual deportation. Evans contends that the economic strangulation of Jews in Munich was a precursor to more violent forms of persecution, as it weakened the community's ability to resist or escape the increasingly oppressive regime.
 At Kaufingerstraße 15 the J. Speier shoe shop was attacked during Kristallnacht. Compared with how it appeared November 10, 1938 the building has completely changed due to the post-war reconstruction of central Munich but it still sells shoes.
The pogrom of November 1938, known as “Kristallnacht” (Night of Broken Glass), or “Reichspogromnacht”, marked the beginning of the final murderous phase of the persecution of the Jews. Following the terrible events of 9/10 November 1938, which are today recalled by a commemorative plaque in the Old Town Hall, the Jews finally lost all their remaining rights. They were forbidden to visit theatres, cinemas, restaurants, museums or parks. Their driving licences were withdrawn, their telephones were cut off and they were forbidden to keep pets or use public transport. This persecution redoubled Jewish efforts to emigrate, and by 1942 almost eight thousand of Munich’s Jews had fled. However, starting in November 1941, close to three thousand citizens of Munich were deported to Kaunas, Piaski, Auschwitz and Theresienstadt, where they were murdered.
The aftermath of Kristallnacht saw the acceleration of anti-Semitic policies, including the imposition of a collective fine on the Jewish community and the exclusion of Jews from all economic activities. Jewish assets were seized, and many were left destitute. The city of Munich played a pivotal role in these events, not merely as a backdrop but as an active participant. Local authorities and the general populace often collaborated willingly in the enforcement of these measures. The city's police force and administrative machinery were complicit in the arrest and deportation of Jews, and there was a conspicuous absence of public outcry against these actions. Meanwhile KFC has recently been forced to apologise after sending a notification to German customers encouraging them to commemorate the anniversary of Kristallnacht with fried chicken and cheese.
The Bürgersaal Church towards Karlstor on Kaufingerstrase contains the tomb of Rupert Mayer, a Jesuit priest and noted Nazi opponent who, after several trials and detention in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and held under arrest at the Ettal Monastery in Upper Bavaria until the end of the war. He returned to Munich after the war, where he died on All Saints’ Day 1945 after suffering a stroke whilst giving a sermon. The prayer and assembly hall of the Marian Men’s Congregation was one of the places where Mayer preached and is also where he is buried after initially being buried at the Jesuit Cemetery in Pullach until three years later his remains were transferred to the crypt of the Bürgersaal Church in a ceremony attended by 120,000 people. The museum at the back of the church documenting the life and work of the pastor was opened in 2008.
Karlstor, part of a large 14th century city wall that was removed in around 1800. Since then, the gate has served as the centrepiece of a new square, Karlsplatz (or Stachus), located between the central rail station and Marienplatz, representing the very centre of the city. Badly damaged during the war, the Karlstor was rebuilt in a somewhat simplified manner as seen in the GIF on the left with me in front and when Hitler was driven through in 1939 after the conquest of Memel. Germany's first department store established after the war, Kaufhof, is located on the west side of the square. It during Mussolini's visit in 1937 when,
[a]lthough he was only there for nine hours the city had never been more "elaborately adorned", the pièce de resistance being a large triumphal arch in front of the Karlsplatz, draped with a fascist black, wreathed with laurel and crowned with a massive golden "M".
Brendan (482) Dark Valley
 The now-gone Cafe Karlsthor which Hitler would once frequent. It was there after Franz Joseph I broke off diplomatic relations with Peter I on Saturday, July 25, 1914 that the so-called 'Schlacht im Café Karlstor' took place when some Serbs ordered their national anthem from the coffee orchestra and the German guests then demolished the café right at the start of the revolution of November 1918. On the right Hitler is driven through Karlstor after return of Memel, March 26, 1939. Joachim Ringelnatz wrote how "the guests suddenly got up and smashed the window panes because a Serbian band was playing." Ödön von Horváth meanwhile wrote that the cafe had been smashed to pieces because of a homeless unshaven man was sitting at a table who was taken for a Serb. 
On the right Hitler is driven through Karlstor after return of Memel, March 26, 1939 in another Hugo Jaeger colour photograph. Hitler had earlier passed through the Karlstor during his triumphal return to Munich after the annexation of Austria in 1938, a moment captured in numerous photographs that were disseminated as propaganda making the gate a focal point for Nazi rallies and marches, its historical significance reinterpreted through the lens of National Socialist ideology. That said, the appropriation of the Karlstor wasn't without its controversies. Evans notes that whilst the Nazi regime was successful in transforming the gate into a symbol of their ideological might, this act also led to public debates about the erasure of history. Critics argued that the Nazis' ideological imprint on the Karlstor was a form of historical revisionism, aimed at erasing or altering the gate's original significance. These debates, however, were largely suppressed as dissenting voices were either silenced or co-opted by the regime. Such appropriation by the Nazis also had international implications. Mazower argues that the gate's transformation was not merely a domestic affair but was keenly observed by foreign powers as a barometer of Nazi intentions. The gate's prominence in Nazi propaganda was also noted by foreign journalists, who often used it as a backdrop for reporting on Germany's political climate. Therefore, the Karlstor served not only as a domestic symbol but also as an international representation of the regime, its image carefully curated to project power and ideological purity.
Tag der Deutschen Kunst  karlstor
The photo on the left shows it during the Tag der Deutschen Kunst of June 10, 1938 and the right showing Germans being marched into captivity after the war, offering a remarkable contrast.
Hitler's painting of Karlstor   
Hitler's supposed painting of the monument with what was left of it after the war.  
Game Stop terrorism
A brownshirt preventing anyone from entering the offices of Jewish lawyers Dr. Th. Erlanger, Ludwiger Erlanger, and Dr. Adolf Mayer with stickers reading "Jude!" over each man's sign at Karlsplatz 8 on April 1, 1933 and the site today during yet another terror attack in Germany on Friday July 22, 2016 outside the Olympia shopping mall when 18-year-old Iranian-German David Sonboly opened fire on fellow teenagers at the McDonald's restaurant across the street before shooting at bystanders in the street outside and then in the mall itself. Nine people were killed, and 36 others were injured, four of them by gunfire; it was only a last-minute phone call from the wife asking me to look after Drake Winston that pevented me from being there at the time to pick up my bike. According to Kershaw, 
 [t]he boycott itself was less than the success that Nazi propaganda claimed. Many Jewish shops had closed for the day anyway. In some places, the SA men posted outside ‘Jewish’ department stores holding placards warning against buying in Jewish shops were largely ignored by customers. People behaved in a variety of fashions. There was almost a holiday mood in some busy shopping streets, as crowds gathered to see what was happening. Groups of people discussed busy shopping streets, as crowds gathered to see what was happening. Groups of people discussed the pros and cons of the boycott. Not a few were opposed to it, saying they would again patronise their favourite stores. Others shrugged their shoulders. ‘I think the entire thing is mad, but I’m not bothering myself about it,’ was one, perhaps not untypical, view heard from a non-Jew on the day. Even the SA men seemed at times rather half-hearted about it in some places. In others, however, the boycott was simply a cover for plundering and violence. For the Jewish victims, the day was traumatic – the clearest indication that this was a Germany in which they could no longer feel ‘at home’, in which routine discrimination had been replaced by state-sponsored persecution.  
An American GI directing traffic on Karlsplatz in front of the building. Named Pini House, also known as the Imperial House, it is a seven-story building on the triangular plot of Schützenstrasse 1 at Stachus. The building stands at the fork in the road between Schützenstrasse and Bayerstrasse and is rounded at the sharp corner. The building had been designed by architect Joseph von Schmaedel as a solid masonry structure with wooden beam ceilings and was completed in 1877. It was renovated for the first time in 1907 and the wooden beam ceilings were replaced by reinforced concrete ceilings, steel columns were covered with concrete and a flat roof was replaced in place of the previous gable roof. Further conversions took place in 1933 and later from 2000 to 2002. The building received its original name Imperial House after the Café Imperial, which was managed there. It was later renamed Pini House after the Pini Optik optician moved there. There has been a cinema in the building since the beginning of the 20th century called the Imperial Cinema. During the war it was Munich's largest military cinema and was open 24 hours a day. Due to the many neon signs, it was said that the Times Square feeling brought to Munich. After the war, the Associated Press news agency temporarily used the rooms on the sixth floor. After a fire, the building was extensively restored around the turn of the millennium. Since then, the Anna Hotel has been housed in the building and is operated by the Geisel family, who also owns the nearby Hotel Königshof. 

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank outside the Imperial Lichtspiele cinema across the street from Karlstor, now the Anna Hotel with Drake Winstn in front today. the role of the Lichtspiele is a noteworthy aspect of the city's post-war intelligence landscape. Lichtspiele, a cinema turned into an intelligence operations centre, served as a crucial venue for information gathering and dissemination during the early years of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The conversion of a public entertainment space into an intelligence hub is emblematic of the broader transformation Munich underwent in the post-war period, shifting from a city known for its cultural heritage to a focal point of Cold War espionage activities. The choice of Lichtspiele on Karlsplatz as an operations centre was strategic. Located in the heart of Munich, it offered easy access to various parts of the city and was less conspicuous than a dedicated government building, thereby providing a level of anonymity essential for covert operations. According to Eichner, the central location of Lichtspiele made it an ideal place for agents to receive assignments and report back on completed missions. Eichner further notes that the cinema's layout, with its multiple exits and entrances, provided an added layer of security, allowing agents to enter and exit without drawing attention. The use of Lichtspiele as an intelligence centre has been the subject of scholarly debate. While Eichner views it as a pragmatic choice, driven by logistical considerations, others like Müller argue that the selection of a cinema, a symbol of public life and entertainment, for intelligence operations had symbolic undertones. Müller contends that the transformation of Lichtspiele into an intelligence hub reflects the extent to which the Cold War had permeated everyday life, turning even spaces of leisure into arenas of geopolitical contestation. The role of Lichtspiele also raises questions about the ethical dimensions of intelligence operations in post-war Munich. The cinema, once a place for public gathering, had been transformed into a space where activities were conducted that had significant political and ethical implications. Scholars like Wolf have questioned the morality of using a public space for activities that were shrouded in secrecy and had far-reaching consequences. Wolf argues that the use of Lichtspiele exemplifies the ethical ambiguities that characterised the early years of the BND, as it navigated the complex terrain of Cold War politics.
The same tank parked at the Stachus with the Karlstor in the background and Drake Winston at the same spot today. This,
the Fgst.Nr. 121455, was the last Panther to be manufactured and had been considered one of the best tanks of the Second World War for its excellent firepower and protection. The Panther was intended to counter the Soviet T-34 and to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV although, it served alongside both the Panzer IV and the heavier Tiger I until the end of the war. Its reliability however was less impressive. According to Albert Speer (325) Inside the Third Reich,  "[s]ince the Tiger had originally been designed to weigh fifty tonnes but as a result of Hitler's demands had gone up to fifty seven tonnes, we decided to develop a new thirty tonne tank whose very name, Panther, was to signify greater agility. Though light in weight, its motor was to be the same as the Tiger's, which meant it could develop a superior speed. But in the course of a year Hitler once again insisted on clapping so much armour on it, as well as larger guns, that it ultimately reached forty eight tonnes, the original weight of the Tiger."
Hitler's painting of Senglingertor
Hitler's supposed watercolour from 1913 of the Sendlinger Tor and the view with Drake Winston on the left. The original owner of the painting on the left was a teacher from Ingolstadt, Friedrich Echinger, who, according to Gaab (130) in Munich: Hofbräuhaus & History: Beer, Culture, & Politics, "sold several paintings to the NSDAP archives for RM 5000 a piece, by far the best art investment Echinger ever made." Echinger sold these pictures to the Nazi main archive on March 23, 1939 for 15,000 RM in toto. He himself described how "[a] well-known lady of mine, who knew about my inclination for good pictures, first bought the watercolour 'Die Propylaea' on my behalf in 1913 in a stationery shop in Munich. I liked the picture so much at the time that I commissioned the lady to buy more pictures for me by the same artist, if she could get them. In the same way, the lady then acquired the “Münzhof”, the “Sendlinger Tor” and the “Hofbräuhaus” for me. The 'Münzhof' is now owned by Pastor Friedrich Loy. The other three pictures are still in my personal possession." Pastor Loy from Hamborn would later sell the picture to the Nazi main archive in Duisburg on May 11, 1939 for 5000 RM.
On the right is another painting of the gate attributed to Hitler.
A 31-year-old goldsmith and gem cutter named Otto Paul Kerber would recall how "[i]n 1912 a young man came into the Georg Lotthammers Nachf. business, founded in 1880, in which I was a partner from 1913, and offered me a watercolour of the Munich Residenz. I liked the picture and subsequently bought several pictures of the young Hitler, who kept coming to see me. As far as I can remember, I paid him 15 to 20 marks for a picture, depending on the version." Dr Alfred Detig, who dealt with Hitler's pictures from 1935 and wrote several newspaper articles, reported that he bought his first Hitler watercolour from Kerber in the spring of 1936 when he "met the Munich chemist Dr. Schnell, Sendlingerstrasse, who showed me five watercolours in the room behind his shop, which he himself had bought from the Führer in the last few years before the World War. The pictures made a deep impression on me, as did the description of Dr. Fast. In the near future in Munich I saw a number of the Führer's watercolours from his time before the war in Munich, and I wrote several articles about them, some of them illustrated, which appeared in Reich German newspapers, especially in several party newspapers. Some editors informed me that among the readership there was an extraordinary interest in the Fuehrer's work as an artist, of which most had no idea. The various inquiries in the editors prompted me to continue to deal with this topic and to investigate all the traces available to me. In this way, the desire arose to own one or the other picture, if possible, and so I bought the watercolor of the Munich Residenz from the jeweler Kerber in Dienerstrasse in the summer of 1935 and a short time later from the widow of the Juweliers Haug in Türkenstrasse [26] which his wife Emma continued to run after his death....Both gave me the express assurance that they had bought the watercolors themselves from the Führer in Munich in the years before the World War. Kerber added that he bought a total of 21 watercolours from the Führer, two of which he still owns."
Hardly damaged in in the war, Sendlinger Tor was completely renovated in the 1980s; a remnant of the city wall can still be seen which had continued up the Herzog-Wilhelm-Straße. Recently this sign in the Sendlinger Tor underground station was discovered during construction work which has left historians puzzled. In the course of the refurbishment and modernisation of the subway station the wall paneling was removed revealing an old instruction board for the staff came to light directly at the entrance to the U1 and U2 railway lines, reading "Caution, train operations - only enter the tunnel on the platform!" The notice itself isn't so surprising as the font used, reminiscent of the Nazi era. However, the tunnel couldn't have been built under the Nazis given that its construction only began in the 1970s, with underground lines 1 and 2 rushing through for the first time on October 18, 1980. The only pre-war structure of the Munich subway is the station at Goetheplatz from where the so-called Lindwurm tunnel leads 590 metres in the direction of Sendlinger Tor where the U3 and U6 train lines run today- but the tunnel is one floor higher. The Lindwurm Tunnel had been built between 1938 and 1941 under the eponymous Lindwurmstraße, leading to Goetheplatz and which is now part of the Munich U-Bahn network. After Hitler gave the order to restructure the Munich railway system around a new main station near today's Friedenheimer Bridge, the Deutsche Reichsbahn decided to construct two S-Bahn tunnel routes through the city centre. On May 22, 1938 Hitler started the construction work for the tunnel of the Munich Stadtbahn network, in which an underground S-Bahn between Harras and Freimann was to run. The first trains had already been ordered, but construction was halted after 590 metres had been completed by 1941 due to the war.  During the wartime bombing the tunnel served as an air raid shelter. After the war, the building was partly filled with rubble, and in the early 1950s a mushroom farm was operated there. The tunnel and station remained unused until 1965, when it was decided to build the Munich subway. The old tunnel was supposed to connect to the new subway network but, according to experts from the city's subway department, it was almost too close to the street. And so in March 1965, the Lindwurm Tunnel was blasted free again with 125 kilogrammes of TNT. The route to Goetheplatz station, which was also built in shell form before 1941, was opened on October 19, 1971 and is still used today.
Hitler's painting of Asamkirche
Hitler's drawing of the Asamkirche on Sendlinger Straße, built between 1733-1746. When painting such architecture in his paintings, rather than developing his technique Hitler copied 19th century artists and many of the masters preceding him. He claimed to be the synthesis of many artistic movements but it is clear that he drew primarily from Graeco-Roman classicism, the Italian Renaissance, and Neoclassicism. He liked the technical ability of these artists, as well as the understandable symbolism. He described Rudolf von Alt as his greatest influence although, whilst both are similar in their use of colour and subject matter, but Alt displayed fantastical landscapes giving as much attention to nature and the surrounding environment as to the architecture. In Mein Kampf Hitler described how, in his youth, he wanted to become a professional artist, but his aspirations were ruined because he failed the entrance exam of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Hitler was rejected twice by the institute, once in 1907 and again in 1908. In his first examination, he had passed the preliminary portion which involved drawing two of the assigned iconic or Biblical scenes in two sessions of three hours each. The second portion was to provide a previously prepared portfolio for the examiners. It was noted that Hitler’s works contained “too few heads” and it was felt that he had more talent in architecture than in painting. One sympathetic instructor believing he had some talent suggested he apply to the academy's School of Architecture which would have required returning to secondary school from which he had dropped out and which he was unwilling to do. Hitler would eventually frequent the artists' cafés in Munich in the unfulfilled hope that established artists might help him with his ambition to paint professionally. According to a conversation in August 1939 before the outbreak of the war, published in the British War Blue Book, Hitler told British ambassador Nevile Henderson, "I am an artist and not a politician. Once the Polish question is settled, I want to end my life as an artist."
Hitler's 1914 Alten Residenz painting, the Alter Hof, which was home to Bavarian dukes, electors and kings. Destroyed during the wartime bombing, how it appears today with some of my Grade 11 and 12 Bavarian International School history students. In 1935 Hitler gave the painting as a fiftieth birthday present to his personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann. Hoffmann came to own at least four of Hitler's watercolours – one was purchased in 1944, which provoked the remark from Hitler that it would have been "insane" to have paid more than 150 or 200 marks for it, at most. The painting itself shows its inner courtyard (bombed in 1944) and has been described as illustrating both Hitler's style and mastery of watercolour to create a strict delineation of the building whilst on the left presenting two soft standing trees to contrast the harsh lines of the house. In many of Hitler's watercolours, Charles Snyder notes the "detailed attention to humble structures surrounded by water and vegetation, [but] the architecture is of the prime importance... Note plant life, especially leaves on trees. Leaves are typically daubed and dappled in with little regard for accuracy or realism, often used to 'frame' the subject".  A small fountain between two trees is painted on the proper right. 
One of Hitler's own favourites was the courtyard of the Old Residenz. He must have done a good many of these as well, and presented one to Heinrich Hoffmann for his fiftieth birthday in 1935. To Hoffmann's daughter, Henriette von Schirach, he once commented that he had often washed out his paintbrushes in the courtyard fountain there.
Frederick Spotts (131) Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics
 The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich and a few other paintings by Hitler are archived in the basement of the Army Centre of Military History in Washington, D.C., never shown to the public eye because of their controversial nature.
Hitler's sketch of the Isartor and me in front.
The Isartor in 1943; it was particularly damaged in 1944. From 1946 to 1957, its restoration, which was limited to the most necessary backup work, was initially completed. As a result, there were considerable construction defects, and war damage had in some cases only been poorly repaired. A simple tower clock system in the style of the standard station clocks was also installed. In 1971-1972 after tram traffic through the Isartor was abandoned, the Isartor was renovated, which brought the medieval appearance back to its best advantage and corrected some decisions made during the restoration of 1833. In 1971, for example, the complete tower clock system with the two glass dials and pairs of hands was dismantled in the course of the renovation of the Isartor and then not reinstalled. It wasn't until November 4, 2005 that a large clock was again attached to the main tower. On the west side the dial is a mirror image and so accordingly the hands run (deliberately) in opposite directions in homage to comedian Karl Valentin (who has a museum dedicated to him inside one of the towers) who declared that "In Bavaria the clocks go differently". Valentin himself was naive and skeptical about the Nazi regime although one of his routines had him say "Heil… Heil… Heil… yes what's his name - I just can't remember the name.” Another had him muse "It's a good thing that the Führer's name isn't 'Herbs' or else you'd have to greet him with 'medicinal herbs' (Heil Kräuter).

 After the war under American occupation -note the sign reading "Death is so Permanent- Drive Carefully". It covers the 1835 fresco by Bernhard von Neher - "The triumphal procession of Ludwig the Bavarian after his victorious battle against the Habsburg Frederick the Handsome near Mühldorf in 1322."

The American army in front in 1945 and how it still appeared as late as 1971.
Through the gate one enters Tal road, shown during the annual commemorative march in memory of those who died in the Hitler putsch on November 9, 1923 in front of the Feldherrnhalle, taking place a decade later with the Nazis now in power. The column is passing through the Isartor with Julius Streicher walking in front, directly past what is supposedly the oldest hotel in the centre of Munich. When it was founded in 1470 as the Hotel Thaltor, the Hotel Torbräu was where the SA and ϟϟ recruited and drank throughout the 1920s. The SA swore allegiance to Hitler in May 1923 and the precursor to the ϟϟ, the Stosstrupp Hitler, was established in the bowling alley in basement here according to Guido Knopp:
The SS started very small. In May 1923, the "Stoßtrupp Hitler" was born in the bowling alley of Munich's Torbräu tavern – 22 men formed the nucleus of the Black Order. Protecting the life of the “drummer” who wanted to be the “leader” in battles in the hall – that was their job. They wore the skull and crossbones on their black caps – borrowed from the emblem of the 1st Guards Reserve Engineer Regiment of the First World War, which operated in front of the front lines with flamethrowers. “Death-defying joy in fighting” – with such a trench mentality, the shock troopers wanted to overthrow the hated republic.
 (9-10) Die SS
He goes on to write (24) how 
When inflation took hold in 1923, a pint of beer in the Torbräu SS hangout was already costing several billion marks. That money earned in the morning was worth nothing in the evening. Their job of protecting Hitler elevated the men from the bowling alley, as they saw it, from an average existence to the rank of an "elite." Hitler made his first attempt to overthrow the hated state almost six months after swearing allegiance in Torbräu. The course for a dollar was now at 420 billion marks. The patience of the people was exhausted, the situation for a "national revolution" seemed favourable...
In the Torbräu, Josef Berchtold initiated the men into the putsch plans: “Comrades, the hour has come that you all, like me, have longed for. Hitler and Herr von Kahr have come to an agreement, and this very evening the Reich government will be overthrown and a new Hitler-Ludendorff-Kahr government formed. The deed to be carried out by us will be the impetus for the new events. But before I proceed, I urge those who for any reason object to our cause to resign.” No one made a move to leave.
Hitler’s first bodyguard was replaced with a new one in May of 1923, the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler. Its members by and large came from a differing social and age group (older) than the quite young SA. The initial leader of this group was Julius Schreck, a man who superficially resembled Hitler and later served as his double from time to time. These recruits were later described by one of their own: “Hard and rough and sometimes quite uncouth were the customs, habits, and looks of the Stosstrup. They did not know ... grovelling. They clung to the right of the stronger, the old right of the fist. In an emergency they knew no command.... When ... called to action— to attack right and left—march! march!—then things were torn to bits and in minutes streets and squares were swept of enemies.... Soon we were known in village and town.”
 By April 1925 Hitler ordered Schreck to set up a new bodyguard who then gathered his "old comrades" around him inside the Torbräu. The name that the troop then adopted in September suited the current needs of its leader: "Schutzstaffel" (initially in a plural form, Schutzstaffeln),  a ”Protective Squadron” with its name taken from air warfare terminology, referring to fighters escorting bombers.
Marching down Am Tal
The Sterneckerbräu, so-called 'cradle of the Movement' was located in Munich's old town in the Tal 38 (originally 54) on the corner of Sterneckerstraße, very close to the Isartor. This is where Hitler first came across the German Workers' Party (DAP) on September 12, 1919 whilst serving in the intelligence section of the German army. When the DAP chief, Anton Drexler, signed the Party membership form he wrote "Hittler" with two 't's. This is also significant as being the site where the Nazi Party was originally organised on February 24, 1920.
It can scarcely have been a very impressive scene when, on the evening of 12 September 1919, Hitler attended his first meeting in a room at the Sterneckerbrau, a Munich beer-cellar in which a handful of twenty or twenty-five people had gathered. One of the speakers was Gottfried Feder, an economic crank well known in Munich, who had already impressed Hitler at one of the political courses arranged for the Army. The other was a Bavarian separatist, whose proposals for the secession of Bavaria from the German Reich and a union with Austria brought Hitler to his feet in a fury. He spoke with such vehemence that when the meeting was over Drexler went up to him and gave him a copy of his autobiographical pamphlet, Mein politisches Erwachen. A few days later Hitler received a postcard inviting him to attend a committee meeting of the German Workers' Party.
Alan Bullock (58) Hitler: A Study in Tyranny
 The Sterneckerbräu was the lowest category of beer house and gained fame and historical significance only because Anton Drexler founded the German Workers' Party (DAP) on January 5, 1919, together with Karl Harrer. It met once a week in the restaurant on the first floor of the new building. On September 12, 1919, Hitler attended a meeting of the DAP on behalf of the intelligence command of the army. The meeting took place in a meeting room of the Sterneckerbräu. According to Dr. Werner Maser, the first to evaluate the main Nazi Party archive and exposed the "Hitler Diaries" as a forgery, in his 1975 book Adolf Hitler: Legende-Mythos-Wirklichkeit (171-2), 
Hitler appears in civilian clothes and not as a training officer or as a representative of the troop, but rather as a "Private," stating his troop unit as the place of residence. Bored, Hitler listens to the lecture by the speaker Gottfried Feder, whom he had known since the end of June 1919 from the political course for demobilised soldiers. He only stays because the scheduled discussion interests him. However, when a professor named Baumann took the floor and demanded the separation of Bavaria from the Reich and a union between Bavaria and Austria, Hitler got hooked. "Then I couldn't do anything else," he writes in Mein Kampf, "than to announce myself and to tell the ... gentleman my opinion on this point." Two days earlier, on September 10, 1919, the peace treaty between German-Austria and the Entente states had been signed in St. Germain-en-Laye, which sealed the separation of Hungary from Austria and the recognition of Czechoslovakia and Poland, which was linked to the cession of territory, Hungary and Yugoslavia as independent states by Austria, which was no longer allowed to call itself “German Austria”. The disintegration of the Austrian "state corpse" that Hitler had longed for in Vienna had come about as a result of the war. The fact that a German professor, of all people, is recommending at this hour to separate part of Germany from the Reich and to advocate a union with Austria, which Hitler regarded as a dying state even before the war, has the all-German Hitler downright shocked. When he left the room immediately after his emotionally charged contribution to the discussion, which left most of the participants mute and astonished and caused the professor to "flee" in dismay, the first chairman of the DAP, tool-fitter Anton Drexler, who was just as obviously struck by such brilliant eloquence, followed him and gives him a copy of the brochure he wrote, My Political Awakening, which Hitler reads in the barracks, considers it undemanding, but accepts the content.
Sterneckerbraukeller Drexler invited him to join the DAP. Hitler accepted on that date, becoming the party's 555th member (Wikipedia says he was member 55 given that membership began at number 500 to make it appear that the party had more members). In October 1919, the first branch of the DAP, which in February 1920 changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party, was set up in a side room of the Sterneckerbräu.  In 1921, the Bavarian nationalist and royalist league In Treue fest was founded at the Sterneckerbräu. It was banned by the Nazis on February 2, 1933, and later re-established in 1952.

Of this first visit, Hitler wrote the following in Chapter IX: The 'German Workers' Party' in Mein Kampf:
In the evening when I entered the 'Leiber Room' of the former Sterneckerbrau in Munich, I found some twenty to twenty-five people present, chiefly from the lower classes of the population.
Feder's lecture was known to me from the courses, so I was able to devote myself to an inspection of the organisation itself.
My impression was neither good nor bad; a new organisation like so many others. This was a time in which anyone who was not satisfied with developments and no longer had any confidence in the existing parties felt called upon to found a new party. Everywhere these organisations sprang out of the ground, only to vanish silently after a time. The founders for the most part had no idea what it means to make a party-let alone a movement out of a club. And so these organisations nearly always stifle automatically in their absurd philistinism.
The meeting didn’t impress Hitler, but he was given a brochure titled “My Political Awakening” by founder Anton Drexler, and he read it nonetheless. Hitler was invited to the next meeting of the DAP at the Altes Rosenbad Inn and he was again ordered to attend and even join the tiny party by his Intelligence superior, Capt. Karl Mayr.
Standing in front with the Isartor and Hotel Torbrau behind. After joining, Hitler was said to have established an office there in a former barroom with a light, telephone, table, a few chairs on loan, a bookcase and borrowed cup- boards. Thus, what would become the first headquarters of the future Nazi Party was born, after Hitler changed its name, direction and leadership. Hitler would also write in Mein Kampf when he rented the site to serve as the party offices that:
In the old Sterneckerbräu im Tal, there was a small room with arched roof, which in earlier times was used as a sort of festive tavern where the Bavarian Counsellors of the Holy Roman Empire foregathered. It was dark and dismal and accordingly well suited to its ancient uses, though less suited to the new purpose it was now destined to serve. The little street on which its one window looked out was so narrow that even on the brightest summer day the room remained dim and sombre. Here we took up our first fixed abode. The rent came to fifty marks per month, which was then an enormous sum for us. But our exigencies had to be very modest. We dared not complain even when they removed the wooden wainscoting a few days after we had taken possession. This panelling had been specially put up for the Imperial Counsellors. The place began to look more like a grotto than an office.
Standing at the entrance on the side street off Tal which Hitler entered when first encountering the DAP.
The story is well-known; it has been told a thousand times. On 12 September 1919, on an assignment from the Reichswehr's Intelligence Section, Hitler attended a meeting of the German Workers' Party in the Sterneckerbräu, a pub near the Isartor, where slightly more than forty people had assembled to listen to speeches by Gottfried Feder and a Professor Baumann. During the subsequent discussion Hitler drew attention to himself with a forceful contribution and was then invited by the chairman of the local branch, Anton Drexler, to become a member. After careful consideration Hitler agreed to do so and, thanks to his rhetorical gift, soon became the party's main attraction. Under his dominant influence it rapidly expanded, consolidating its organisation, until he formally took over the party leadership. The story represents the core of the party legend', invented by Hitler, outlined at length in Mein Kampf, referred to again and again in hundreds of his speeches, and continually repeated after 1945. The legend can, however, be disproved with relative ease. For a start, during the 1930s, Drexler, the chairman in 1919, understandably objected to Hitler's claim that he joined the party as member No. 7. The only thing that is certain is that Hitler was one of the first 200 or so members who had joined the party by the end of 1919. But much more important is the fact that the success of the DAP, later NSDAP, in Munich was not, as Hitler later maintained, the result of his decision' to join it.
From 1933 the Sternecker housed a Nazi museum, opened November 8 that year by Hitler himself. Mentioned in Nazi-ersa Baesecker guides, for twenty pfennigs one could visit the room of the first office that was supposedly preserved and furnished as it was originally. The first inventory and office furniture, as well as the members' rooms, could still be viewed there. Every year on November 8 the solemn procession dedicated to the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch passed the Sterneckerbräu at which point marchers stopped for one minute. The building survived the war. In 1957 the restaurant was closed and the first floor was converted into a store whilst currently preserved rooms are now used as office space for an Apple shop which may be appropriate, given that in Latin the words for 'apple' ("mālum") and for 'evil' ("malum") are nearly identical. One particularly incisive piece from the New York Times revealed the way the company exploits its own foreign workforce in Chinese concentration camps.
Hermann Otto Hoyer's 1937 representation of Hitler's political beginnings set in the Leiber Room of the Sterneckerbräu, Am Anfang war das Wort (In the Beginning Was the Word) for the Great German Art Exhibition at the Haus der Deutschen Kunst. Note how Hitler’s arms are bent in the form of the swastika, matching that on the flag which hanging directly behind him. The lighting over Hitler seems to fall directly onto the audience, having him represent the bringer of light and further hint at the audience's 'enlightenment,' evoking the Pentecost. In the summer of 1920 alone Hitler had given the following speeches here: 'Nationalism' (June 9), "About the Political Situation" (June 16), "Spa and Moscow" (July 28) and "Financial Questions" (August 6).
Its small group of faithful followers— workmen, craftsmen, members of the lower-middle-class—assembled each week in the Leiber Room of the Sternecker-Bräu ‘for the discussion and study of political matters’. The trauma of the lost war, anti-Semitic feelings, and complaints about the snapping of all the ‘bonds of order, law and morality’ set the tone of its meetings. It stood for the widespread idea of a national socialism ‘led only by German leaders’ and aiming at the ‘ennoblement of the German worker’; instead of socialization it called for profit-sharing, demanded the formation of an association for national unity, and proclaimed that its ‘duty and task’ was ‘to educate its members in an ideal sense and raise them up to a higher conception of the world’. It was not so much a party in the usual sense, as a mixture of secret society and drinking club typical of the Munich of those years; it did not address itself to the public. Obscure visionaries would hold forth to the thirty or forty who had gathered together, discuss Germany’s disgrace and rebirth, or write postcards to like-minded societies in North Germany.
Fest The Face of the Third Reich
Hitler's painting of am Tal
Hitler's painting of Tal Road looking towards Marienplatz with Heilig-Geist-Kirche on the left and the alte rathaus straight ahead.
As he had done in Vienna, he developed a routine where he could complete a picture every two or three days, usually copied from postcards of well-known tourist scenes in Munich – including the Theatinerkirche, the Asamkirche, the Hofbräuhaus, the Alter Hof, the Münzhof, the Altes Rathaus, the Sendlinger Tor, the Residenz, the Propyläen – then set out to find customers in bars, cafés, and beerhalls. His accurate but uninspired, rather soulless watercolours were, as Hitler himself later admitted when he was German Chancellor and they were selling for massively inflated prices, of very ordinary quality. But they were certainly no worse than similar products touted about the beerhalls, often the work of genuine art students seeking to pay their way. Once he had found his feet, Hitler had no difficulty finding buyers. He was able to make a modest living from his painting and exist about as comfortably as he had done in his last years in Vienna. When the Linz authorities caught up with him in 1914, he acknowledged that his income – though irregular and fluctuating – could be put at around 1,200 Marks a year, and told his court photographer Heinrich Hoffmann at a much later date that he could get by on around 80 Marks a month for living costs at that time.
Hitler's painting of the Hofbräuhaus Hitler's painting of the Hofbräuhaus and standing in front today. The Hofbräuhaus in Munich holds a significant place in the history of the Nazi Party. Established in 1589, this beer hall became a focal point for political gatherings, particularly for Hitler and his Nazi Party. It was here on April 13, 1919 (Palm Sunday) that the soldiers' councils proclaimed the Bavarian Soviet Republic in the festsaal. The Hofbräuhaus was one of the beer halls used by the Nazi Party for functions and holds a particular significance in its mythology. The DAP—the future Nazi Party—held its first mass meeting there on October 16, 1919—less than a year after the war’s end—with an audience of seventy people. On February 24, 1920, in its Festival Hall, Hitler presented the Twenty-five Points that formed the political base of the Nazis—this time with two thousand in attendance. During this event, Hitler introduced the party's 25-point program, a foundational document that outlined the party's ideological stance and political objectives. The choice of the Hofbräuhaus for such a seminal event was strategic; its central location and popularity made it an ideal venue for attracting a large audience and disseminating propaganda.

 Adolf Reich's Hofbräuhaus- Schwemme of 1939 on the right, showing a Wehrmacht soldier sitting alone and seemingly lost in his thoughts as the rest throw themselves into merriment upon the outbreak of the war in the Aufgabeort (Place of Consignment) which is immdiately at the entrance on the left when one walks in. The painting itself is in the possession of the owner of the German Art Gallery (like 90% of the works found on the site) and is for sale for € 9.000.

On Friday, August 13 1920, Hitler publicly denounced the Jews for the first time in his Why We Are Antisemites speech, demanding their removal from Germany altogether. On November 4, 1921, there was a massive fight between the Nazis and their opponents in the Hofbrauhaus, the so-called "Feuertaufe der SA," but Hitler managed to complete his address, despite the chaos of smashed tables and chairs and hurled beer mugs all about him. On February 25, 1939, Martin Bormann wrote to Bavarian Prime Minister Ludwig Siebert, that Hitler ordered that the Hofbräuhaus should no longer bear the "royal" designation but its official name should in the future be "Das Hofbräuhaus zu München". The Hofbräuhaus was actually renamed, but instead became "Staatliches Hofbräuhaus".

Hitler referred in his address to the first assembly that was held at the Hofbräuhaus:
It was the first major rally our Movement had ever held in which we can say that the Volk participated. For the first time the internal organisation was tested in a large hall, and it worked. For the first time people came to us who wanted to listen. We certainly had not lacked the courage to summon the masses, but for a long time the masses lacked the courage to hear our call.
At that first rally we announced our twenty-five points—which our opponents ridiculed—for the first time, to implement them item for item in the years thereafter. And finally, I myself spoke to a large crowd of people for the first time in this hall, although someone had told me I had any number of talents, but speaking was not one of them. I had to assert myself at that large rally, which was not as well-mannered as it is today.
Later my opponents conceived of the idea of calling me “the drummer” for years afterwards. In any case, that first rally was significant in that it was the first mass rally of our Party, it announced our programme and produced a new speaker.
This plaque (shown here during and after the war) commemorated Hitler's speech of February 24, 1920 in which he laid out the goals of the new Nazi Party in his 25 point programme, an event later declared to have been the founding session of the Nazi Party.
The principles were incorporated in the party programme that Hitler together with Anton Drexler and Gottfried Feder wrote out in twenty-five points and that Hitler presented to a meeting of February 24, 1920, in the Hofbräuhaus. They had appealed greatly to the party constituency even though they had no prospect whatever of being realized in any foreseeable future. The party's programme enunciated among other things the right to self-determination for Germany, with equal treatment and land and colonies to feed the German people. The Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain were to be abrogated. Only racial Germans could be citizens, and racial Germans were men and women of German blood regardless of religion, so no Jew could be a Volks comrade. Battle would be waged against the corruption of the parliamentary system based on party considerations, which took no account of character and ability. Every citizen had the same rights and duties; the general need came before the individual need; only a man who worked was entitled to an income; war profits were to be confiscated, the serfdom of interest broken. Profiteers, common criminals, and black marketers were to be executed. Trusts already nationalised were to remain so. In the interest of a healthy middle class, the party platform declared that big department stores would be communalised. It demanded land reform and the abolition of speculation in land. Poor children were to be educated by the state, child labour was to be prohibited, and health services were to be provided for mothers and children and young people. A people's army was to replace mercenary troops, and a strong central authority was to be established with complete authority over the Reich and its organisations.
The plaque can be seen behind the 'blood flag' behind Hitler on left, speaking in the Hofbrauhaus on February 24, 1940 on the twentieth anniversary of the formation of the Nazi Party, and Adolph Wagner shown speaking in the centre. Hitler's speech can be read here. I'm standing at the location today with the plaque being replaced with a fire escape sign. Kershaw argues that the Hofbräuhaus served as a "propaganda machine" for the Nazis. The beer hall's large gathering space allowed for the mobilisation of supporters and the dissemination of Nazi ideology. Hitler's oratorical skills were particularly effective in such a setting, where he could engage directly with the public and sway opinions. The Hofbräuhaus thus became a platform for Hitler to gain political traction and build a following in the early years of the Nazi Party's existence. A fight that broke out on November 4 1921 made the site a Nazi shrine as it was claimed that the SA had met its baptism of fire. As Hitler wrote at the beginning of Chapter VI, The First Period of our Struggle in Mein Kampf,
 During that period the hall of the Hofbrau Haus in Munich acquired for us, National Socialists, a sort of mystic significance. Every week there was a meeting, almost always in that hall, and each time the hall was better filled than on the former occasion, and our public more attentive.
The Festsaal on the third floor where, in 1920, the Nazi Party held its first meeting. The following year on November 4 Hitler spoke to a crowd of two thousand, a number of whom belonged to the Social Democrats, concerning an assassination attempt on one of the SPD's spokemen, Erhard Auer. The ensuing clash is recounted by Hitler in Chapter VII: The Struggle with the Red Front in the Second Volume of Mein Kampf:
In the Festsaal of the Hofbräuhaus I always stood on one of the long sides of the hall and my platform was a beer table. And so I was actually in the midst of the people. Perhaps this circumstance contributed to creating in this hall a mood such as I have never found anywhere else. In front of me, especially to the left of me, only enemies were sitting and standing. They were all robust men and young fellows in large part from the Maffei factory, from Kustermann's, from the Isaria Meter Works, etc. Along the left wall they had pushed ahead close to my table and were beginning to collect beer mugs; that is, they kept ordering beer and putting the empty mugs under the table. In this way, whole batteries grew up and it would have surprised me if all had ended well this time...

The presence of the SA at the Hofbräuhaus underscored the venue's importance as a hub for both the ideological and operational aspects of the Nazi movement. Fest contends that the Hofbräuhaus was instrumental in creating a sense of community and belonging among Nazi Party members. The beer hall culture, characterized by camaraderie and social interaction, facilitated networking among party members and sympathizers. This sense of community was vital for the Nazi Party's grassroots organising and recruitment efforts. The Hofbräuhaus thus served as more than just a physical space; it was a symbol of the party's identity and a catalyst for its growth.

swastikas hofbrauhaus ceiling
Until a few years ago, above each lamp the Bavarian flag was seen in the form of a swastika, painted by Hitler's supporters after he took power. After the war the owners found they couldn't paint over them as the swastikas were still visible after several coats of paint, and so decided to 'decorate' them as oddly shaped Bavarian flags. Recently the shape itself was altered as seen in the before-and-after photos above. The ceiling paintings were the work of Hermann Kaspar, a well-known Nazi artist whose work was featured in the monumental mosaic frieze on the gallery walls in the congress hall of Munich's Deutsches Museum in 1935 as well as the remaining swastika-decked ceiling mosaic over the colonnades of the Haus der Kunst. With sculptor Richard Knecht he'd been responsible for the overall design of the marches and parades for the “Day of German Art ” in Munich in 1937 and 1938. At the parade of his kitschy floats, Kaspar was allowed to sit right next to Hitler. Works by Kaspar were also shown in the 1944 art exhibition Deutsche Künstler und die ϟϟ in Breslau organised by Himmler and the main office of the ϟϟ. Kaspar was on the God-gifted list in 1944. In the late 1960s, he was seen as an example of failure to denazify because, despite his initial dismissal from the Americans, he remained an academy professor and received numerous government contracts. The ceiling of the Hofbrauhaus had suffered war damage in 1945 and was not painted until 1965. Since then Kaspar's painting became a victim of tobacco smoke and its restoration took place after the smoking ban from 2007.
According to Wikipedia, the Hofbrauhaus "also held a 1889 baby photo of Hitler as recent [sic] as 2006" and furthermore, according to a post at "On the left hand side of the main hall is small room with sort of a racks where locals can keep their beer steins. They wash them in a copper sink, then put into mailbox size padlocked lockers. When I visited Hofbrauhaus one of the locals told us that Hitler's stein is still there. No one knows which one it is, but is worshipped. Indeed one of the racks was decorated with green applications. Apparently faithful locals decorate it every year before Adi's birthday - 20th April." Given that Hitler was supposedly a teetotaller, it's hard to credit that... 
Although Hitler indeed consumed little alcohol and did not smoke, his image as a vegetarian teetotaler was carefully crafted propaganda used, in the words of Ian Kershaw, to evoke the image of of a “Führer without sin.” Such a cultivated reputation was one element in an effort to portray Hitler as the sober, well-intentioned, moderate leader of a Nazi state that took extreme actions. it helps to explain why Hitler's personal popularity remained elevated when Germans' opinion of the Nazi Party began to decline. although Hitler did not allow himself to be seen drinking, he never avoided association with the trappings of alcohol that make up everyday German life, and which devout Mormons avoided by the early twentieth century. Faithful Latterday Saints would not be seen in a tavern, but Hitler gave one of his most famous speeches at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich in 1923.
The day Hitler committed suicide and now showing the entrance when the site served as the Command Post for the American 45th Division. The 45th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army, most associated with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. It was reactivated and deployed in late June 1943 to North Africa and subsequently took part in various campaigns in Europe. Under the command of Major General Robert T. Frederick, the division was involved in taking several cities and faced intense resistance from enemy forces. During the war the Hofbräuhaus was almost completely destroyed by air raids starting on the night of April 25, 1944 followed by three more air raids. The Talbruck gate tower near the Hofbräuhaus had been completely destroyed by 1945, and less than 3% of Munich's buildings remained unscathed from Allied carpet bombing, which had targeted the city centre.
Nearby is the Pfeffermühle, founded by Erika and Klaus Mann in January 1933 which satirised the Nazis before the two emigrated to New York after Hitler's seizure of power. Erika defined clearly the aims of his political-satirical cabaret: “Wir wollten die Nazis bekämpfen." Only a few weeks after its highly successful premiere, the troupe had to flee from the Nazis to resume as an exile cabaret on September 30, 1933 in Zurich at the Hotel Hirschen. The second exile programme was launched on January 1, 1934, with clearer references to the Nazis followed by the third and most biting programme on October 3, 1934 in Basel. One performance ended up triggering riots by Swiss Nazis, so that the performances could only be continued under police protection. The performances had attracted criticism from the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in 1934, and various cantons even banned its performances. When Nazi pressure became too strong, Erika tried to reëstablish The Peppermill in New York at the start of 1937 without much success.