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Approximately 45% of the city's buildings had been destroyed, including more than 85,000 residential units which meant that 300,000 Munich residents were left homeless.
At the Marienplatz the Nazi column encountered a large crowd which was listening to an exhortation of Julius Streicher, the Jew-baiter from Nuremberg, who had rushed to Munich at the first news of the putsch.
When American soldiers from the 42nd Rainbow Division arrived here at the town hall on Marienplatz on the afternoon of April 30, 1945, it marked the end of the Nazi era in the ‘Capital of the Movement’ and the beginning of the confrontation with what Thomas Mann called the city’s “tattered past” which is still reflected in the way the city chooses to remember it.
Parallel to this the City of Munich also donated a sign of remembrance to the memorial site in Kaunas, which Beate Passow used as a model for its Munich counterpart.
The artist describes her work thus: “The pane of glass shows a photo of the memorial plaque in Kowno [Kaunas] together with portraits of Jewish citizens of Munich who were deported.
The crime committed in Kowno is thus given an appropriate presence in Munich as well.” The photographs were taken from the identity cards marked with a red “J” that Jewish citizens were obliged to carry with them from 1939.
In many cases these photos were the last visible traces of their owners. In 1951 members of the Munich City Council belonging to the Christian Social Union, the Social Democrats and the Bavarian Party tabled a joint motion to have a plaque put up in the town hall to commemorate those members of the city administration who had fallen victim to the Third Reich or died in the two world wars.