On Sunday 17th February, there was another Greeters walk through Munich. We started at the corner of Ludwigstraße / Schellingstraße. Shocking: What in the red brickwork of this house looks like damaged bricks are, in truth, bullet holes from shrapnels from WW II. The wounds that the Second World War has left, are still to see today.
Continuing our walk, we came along many buildings that already in WW II existed and had som especial task … Example Ludwigstraße 2: Today as innocent as the Ministry of Agriculture, the building was once …
… the Central Ministry. Hitler ordered in April 45, that Munich should not be surrendered without fight. What few people know: The Central Ministry therefore gave the order to blow up all the bridges in Munich (to stop the invasion of the American troups in Southern Bavaria), to cut off all electricity and water pipes and destroy all other infrastructural facilities.
Captain Rupprecht Genrgroß and other military resisted under the “Freedom Action Bavaria” command: they took over the radiostation Ismaning and announced on the radio, that the Bavarian citizens should not resist. against the American Troups. So they actively opposed the Hitler regime. The revolt was crushed by SS units. Gerngross could flee. However, some comrades were taken prisoner and shot in the courtyard of the Ministry. Just 48 hours later, on April 30th 1945, the war was over in Munich (by the way, because of this action of freedom the “Münchner Freiheit” – the popular square in the heart Schwabing – got its name).
Next on our way: Odeonsplatz, Feldherrnhalle and the famous “Drückeberger Gasserl” (street of the shirkers). As deserted as the streets were on this photo from the city walk, they would have been in April 1945, shortly before the surrender.
The official name of the “street of the shirkers” is Viscardigasse. This street has become sadly famous, for all Munich people, who did not want to make Hitlers salute in front of the monument of the Hitler putsch, took it to continue towards Ludwigstraße. The guard of honor standing in front of it and controlling that people saluted, was not squeamish. They arrested anyone who refused to salute in honor of the fallen soldiers of the Hitler putsch in 1923. Today, the path that the Munich people used to detour the greet, is marked by a golden band on the ground.
A few yards around the corner of the Bayern LB sits the Sparkassenverband (Savings Banks Association). This former aristocratic palace also has made history. It belonged to the family of editors Bruckmann, who introduced Hitler to the Munich high society. And it was the Bruckmann’s that published Hitlers book “Mein Kampf”.
Especially Mrs. Bruckmann was supposed to be an ardent follower of Hitler and his racist ideology though she herself did not at all correspond to the “racial ideal”.
Next stop: the “party area”. Here stood the Führerbau, where Hitler received state guests -it was the political heart of the city. The Führerbau now houses the Academy of Music. Next to it stood the “Brown House”, the party headquarters of the Nazi party. It was completely destroyed by the end of the war. Right now a Nazi documentation center is being built – 2014 it is to be completed.
Even more interesting is the site across the street. Here (today meadow with trees) the papal nuncio Eugenio Pacelli (Pope Pius XII in 1939) lived from 1917 to 1925. In 1934, the papal embassy in Munich was closed. And Rudolf Hess moved into the building.
Around the corner, there are traces of a temple. Hitler had decided that here the fallen of the Hitler putsch from 1923 should be buried in graves of honor in a sort of Greek pantheon. The Americans were blasting this temple in 1945 – the base can still be seen today. Why? Because the blast would have been too complex and too expensive … At the rear left of the picture, you can see the three stages of the former temple socket.
At the end of the tour we arrived in front of the Bavarian State Tax Office. Ministery buildings in Bavaria can be easily recognized, since there are always three flags: Flag of Europe, German flag, Bavarian flag. And here you can still find an “Imperial Eagle of the 3rd Reich” – as far as we know it is even the largest Imperial Eagle in Munich. Macabre, isn’t it? The laurel has been carefully cut off the eagle, but the eagle itself remained.