Thursday, June 1

München Mittwoch

München is the city we call Munich. In German it's pronounced MOON-chen.

Today we went on the "New Munich Free Tour" which I highly recommend. (By the way Jamie, we did find one of the buildings with bullet holes, the Treasury Building.) Munich is the largest city in the south eastern part of Germany. It's also the capital of the state of Bavaria. This is the city where Hitler started the Nazis and rose to power.

Here is a short history of the city. Many years ago, monks lived in a small town. Over time the word 'munk' turned into 'München" and 'Munic' comes from the middle ages version trying to make the name look Greek. Well, anyway, in the Middle Ages salt was the most important traded good, oil is today. The guy in charge built a bridge over the Isar River and here and then blew up the bridge in the neighboring sucessful town so all the trade had to come through here. This was in the 1100's. The neighboring town got angry so they went to the king and a deal was struck where Munich had to pay the neighboring town 1/3 of their tax money from the salt for 150 years. They forgot what was going on and kept on paying until the 1930's. Nowadays, it's one of the most sucessful cities in Europe.

Like I said earlier, Hitler had his rise here, which is kind of weird to think about when walking down the same streets. In the early 1920's, after WWI, there were two communist revolutions within months of each other in Munich. For a couple of months, it was a soviet republic. Then there was a counter conservative movement and the liberals were chased out, attracting all the ultra-conservatives, allowing Hitler to mess with people.

Here are the pictures in three categories: the Pope, Nazis, and Munich!

The Pope/Der Papst
Back, when he was a bishop, Munich was his city and we visited his former church.
(by the way, all of the aerial pictures were taken from the balconies of chuch steeples) Like pretty much 99% of everything in Germany, the church was destroyed, unfortunately, during WWII. It seems like the pattern is that they rebuild the to the same shape but not the same materials and decorations. Here's what it looks like on the inside.

Now, on to the only thing worse than Illinois Nazis, Munich Nazis

This building, behind the lamp, is the town beer hall the Haufbrauhaus. The second floor happens to be the location of Hitler's first public speech.
This is one of two town halls. It's also where Hitler gave the orders for the Kristalnacht.
The next three pictures go together for the Beer Hall Putsch. Hitler and some of his friends decided that they'd start a march to Berlin and do a coup. Everyone else but Hitler got drunk and they ended up deciding to walk hours later. The army and police put up a road block and the Nazis walked up to it. I think it was 15 people that ended up being killed, and a majority were Nazis. Hitler missed a bullet by a couple of inches and ran away. He was put on trial for treason but only got a 5 year sentance and he only served a few months and that's when he wrote "Mein Kamphf".

During the Nazi years, they put up a memorial where it happened and everyone walking by had to do the Hitler salute to it.
This is what it looks like today
Many people protested by cutting down the side street and walking around the block instead of saluting the plack. As a memorial to them, they've put it different color cobble stones.
On the lighter side, now for some city pictures



The Residenz, where the king of Bavaria lived
The statue of the first king of Bavaria in front of the opera house

Who can forget Marienplatz and the city hall?


P.S. There are 3 illegal things in Germany:
-do the Hitler salute
-own Mein Kampf, although libraries have it
-display/show a swastika

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