The Munich Centre for the History of National Socialism is a sobering but very necessary space in the heart of the museum district. Located at Königsplatz, this brand new building opened in May 2015 as a way to help us remember Germany’s awful past. It serves as a place of remembrance. Victims are respectfully acknowledged, resistance celebrated. It’s a very important reminder of the evil that has once passed, and could easily come to pass again.
The museum is located on the grounds of the former NSDAP headquarters, and its architecture is in stark contrast to the surrounding Nazi-built buildings in the area. The interiors are black, white and grey – there is no room for colour in a place whose purpose is to remember some of the most awful crimes humanity committed.
Three floors focus on the the Nazi party from its beginnings to post-war Germany – and it’s recommended that you start from the top floor and work your way down (that way, your visit is a chronological experience of the rise of the Nazis). Currently, there’s a special exhibition on the first floor titled The City Without, which is relevant now more than ever. It’s a look at how political polarisation can lead to certain groups being excluded from society, using both historical and contemporary examples (there’s an interesting board that features politicians’ comments on the refugee crisis, for example).
Entrance to the museum is free until April 2020, and while it might not be top of your list for a day out, it’s a necessary visit for old and young alike. There were a great many school groups there when I visited, and I think it’s fantastic that the NS-Dokumentationzentrum is in place to help young people remember their country’s past.