By now its not surprising to find menorahs alongside Christmas trees in public places from city squares to remote areas. But one particular photo of a menorah lighting that came across our news desk this Chanukah struck a chord because of its unique location. The address, Prinzregentenplatz 91 in Munich, is no grand public square. It’s an unassuming white brick building, a modest 5 stories high, not far from Downtown Munich. But the somber history of the building across the street is what makes this location unique – Prinzregentenplatz 16 houses the apartment where Adolf Hitler lived in 1929.
“For the most part, we’re oblivious to the fact that the building across the way has such a dark past,” Rabbi Yochonon Gordon said in a Chabad.org report.
“We always knew about the history of that building,” Robert Rajber, a Munich local and president of the city’s Maccabi sports club told Chabad.org. “But we made nothing of it. Every other building in this city has a dark Holocaust history, and if you cannot live with that, you cannot live in Munich.”
Hitler reportedly hosted high-level officials at the Prinzregentenplatz residence, conducting negotiations prior to WWII with Neville Chamberlain and Benito Mussolini in the home. Following Germany’s defeat and Hitler’s death, the Munich Financing Office occupied the apartment. It now houses the regional police’s headquarters.
Across the road, Munich’s Chabad center has become a magnet for the Bavarian city’s growing Jewish community, (there’s an estimated 10,000 Jews in Munich) many of whom come from the former Soviet Union. It moved in to the Prinzregentenplatz location in 1993 to facilitate it’s expanding community, offering services and programs for locals and tourists.