Munich – Central synagogue
Munich – Central synagogue ©DZT (J. Keute)

Munich – Bavaria’s Rich in Jewish History Capital

Munich has been able to recapture the cultural and architectural grace of the pre-war era and is now far more important than before. Similarly, its Jewish community is much more prominent within the totality of German Jewry than it was prior to 1933.

The Jewish Community Center is the heart of 21st-century Jewish Munich. At St. Jakobs Platz, it houses the Main Ohel Jakob Synagogue, Restaurant Einstein, the Munich Jewish Museum and several Jewish organizations.

A few steps from Munich’s central Marienplatz a stone Menorah Monument marks where the city’s main synagogue stood until Kristallnacht. Nearby, in the courtyard at Lenbachplatz, is Joseph Henselmann’s Fountain Statue of Moses in the Desert. In Milbertshofen a new Holocaust Memorial has been dedicated at the wartime deportation site for Munich’s Jews. Cohen’s and Schmock are lively Jewish-Israeli restaurants. Although Munich was the birthplace of National Socialism, its Ludwig-Maximilian University was also home of the anti-Nazi White Rose Movement. Led by students Hans and Sophie Scholl, and their Professor, Kurt Huber, the White Rose distributed anti-Nazi leaflets in 1942 and 1943, publicizing details of the Final Solution and German battlefront reverses. A Memorial Plaque to the White Rose Martyrs is in the university’s main lobby. The White Rose Information Center is near the university’s Lichthof Hall.

Munich’s Olympia Park is the site of the 1972 Olympic Games. The memorial to the 11 Israeli Athletes murdered by terrorists at the Games stands in front of the apartment where they were held hostage. The Neuer Israelitischer Friedhof cemetery on Garchinger Strasse was opened in 1908. The Alter Israelitischer Friedhof cemetery is on Thalkirchner Strasse.

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