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Tour about Jewish Life in Munich

Explore the rich heritage of Jewish life in Munich

The hard way into a fragile presence


In 1803, Johann Christoph Freiherr von Aretin published probably the first ever comprehensive work on the history of the Jews in Bavaria: “Geschichte der Juden in Baiern” (History of the Jews in Bavaria). Additionally, the author noted:


„The first historical news we have of the existence of the Jews in Bavaria are at the same time the first news of their mistreatment.“


Actually, the history of the Jews in Munich is determined by cruel actions against the community of Jewish populations. As in the rest of the Holy Roman Empire, the Jews in medieval Munich suffered inhuman pogroms: the Jews became “scapegoats” for everything that seemed inexplicable: whether for the thesis of “ritual murders” or for the plague epidemics of the 14th century.


Expulsion and regulated return


1442 was the year of the final expulsion of the Jews from Munich and for almost 300 years there was practically no Jewish life in Munich. Only in 1763 did Jews return to the electoral court under strict conditions as so-called “court Jews” and became the bankers of the lavish Wittelsbach rulers.

1813 heralded a new age with the “Juden-Edikt” and the Kingdom of Bavaria opened up to Jewish citizens, but under the strictest immigration controls. Jews yes, but in manageable numbers and always regulated. Only after the fall of this regulation in 1861 there was an increased immigration of Jews to Munich. Jewish culture flourished and the community grew in such a way that the desire for a larger synagogue became louder. With the opening of the Old Main Synagogue on Herzog-Max-Strasse, Jews seemed to have arrived in the center of society. What a deceptive security!


Darkest years and the hard way back


All this was destroyed by the National Socialists with their almost pathological idea of a “Jewish world conspiracy“. After years of harassment and deprivation, the Reichspogromnacht marked a turning point in terms of violence against Jews. A silent German population watched the events largely unmoved, and now everything seemed possible for the Nazis. For Munich’s Jews, their inhumanity climaxed in the deportations beginning in November 1941 and the subsequent Holocaust.

The end of National Socialism allowed new Jewish life to emerge, albeit very slowly. Long was the road from the first institutions in Möhlstraße in the post-war period to the successful buildings of the Israelite religious community at St.-Jakobs-Platz with its all-dominating synagogue Ohel Jakob.


Come with us on a walk through centuries of changeful history in Jewish Munich.

Tour details

from 220,00 €

up to 120 Min.

Max. 20 guests

About 2.5 km

Karlsplatz / Stachus at the Karlstor gate

Available in these languages:

Do you have any questions? Feel free to reach out to us via the contact form, give us a call, or check out our frequently asked questions section.

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