Historical Figures in Munich Student Quarter: Lenin, Hitler and the 1939 Bomber

Historical Figures in Munich Student Quarter: Lenin, Hitler and the 1939 Bomber

By  Thursday, 19.3.2015, 16:09    Tourist Sites

One of the historical aspects I was keen to learn more about in Munich is how the recent past is portrayed. 

With world-famous attractions such as the Dachau Concentration Camp, and historical links to the dark era in the previous century everywhere in the city, it is hard to ignore the recent past, and initial impressions are that the balance of the past has been well handled, an impression I certainly had when I visited Dachau earlier this year.

The other thing that has struck me is how much history and intrigue there is in the old streets of the city, and I am particularly enjoying discovering some of the more unusual places, with the help of the excellent 111 Places in Munich that You Shouldn't Miss by Rüdiger Liedtke.

To learn for example that there was a urinal in a bar near the university that was frequented by both Hitler and Lenin was intriguing (see below), and if I had read the opening times in the book, I would have known that the Schelling Salon was closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But it does look like a fabulous building with lots of history, which I am looking forward to exploring in more detail soon. Having sat on Stalin's toilet on his private train in the Republic, this will make things complete.

Almost around the corner, however, is a small piece of Munich history, which has caused contention until very recently, a memorial to Georg Elser, a loner from Swabia who tried to assasinate Hitler in 1939. He very nearly suceeded, killing six others, although his target escaped as he left the building ten minutes earlier than scheduled.

Elser rented a place in Türkenstraße 94 in September and October 1939, just as war was breaking out, and it was here that he constructed the bomb. HIs fate for his actions was a prolonged stint at Dachau, where he was killed in 1945, 'no orders from the top'.

After a long discussion the small square near the Türken school on the street was renamed Georg Elser Platz, and in 2009, after even more discussion, a controversial neon glass and aluminium facade installation was erected by artist Silke Wagner, an installation which lights up for one minute each night from 21:20 to 21:21, the exact time that the bomb went off. 

So much history in these streets... Munich is a fascinating city, with a discovery around every corner.  

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Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (www.croatia-split.com), Total Hvar (www.total-hvar.com) and Total Inland Dalmatia (www.total-inland-dalmatia.com), as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on [email protected] or visit my main writing website, www.bossandblogger.com 

Website: total-hvar.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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