I have been to Munich many, many, many times. The first 4 or 5 times was with my daughter and inevitably we would pass, and I take her photo, in front of the Feldherrnhalle, a major monument on the Odeonsplatz, a major platz, or square, in Munich. The Feldherrnhalle is an impressive structure (monument) set in an even more impressive setting and we would also return. But at the time I did not know the significance of the site in modern history.
I have since learned that the Feldherrnhalle is the site where Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch was stopped when local police confronted Hitler, Herman Göring, and others as they tried to take over the government of Bavaria as a stepping stone to gain control over the country in Berlin.
Sixteen of the Nazis were killed and when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany he erected a monument and plaque (MAHNMAL DER BEWEGUNG) you can still see the area where the plaque was mounted in the photo above.
So today, as with all my visits, I returned to Odeonsplatz. Interesting, when I got there, a large group of people had gathered and there was a person person talking at a microphone positioned on a temporary stage. Unfortunately, I got there at the end of the "rally" or whatever it is so I did not hear what was being said. But what I did see struck me with an incredible since of history and irony. Many people were waving the flag of Israel.
What irony, the place that was the spark of Nazism, the 1,000 year Reich, was now a place, just past the 100th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch in November, of a Jewish rally. It was a reminder that evil did not erase a people nor did it last a 1,000 years.
However, I also was forced to pause and think about or try to imagine what the rally was really about. Was it to remember survival of the atrocities of WWII or was it to garner support for the current war? Again, I simply do not know, nor is this post meant to be political in any way. It is, however, one of the reasons that I enjoy coming to Germany - I often see, first hand, the effects of the past and implications of the future.
I do encourage you to learn about the Beer Hall Putsch, the parallels to current events in the world are sometimes striking.
Until next time, be safe, be kind and once again, please be kind, understanding and tolerate.