Oktoberfest, beer, traditional dress, FC Bayern München, the northernmost city of Italy and cosmopolitan city with a warm heart: These are all things one might associate with Munich. Naturally, however, the Bavarian capital with its 1.5 million inhabitants offers much more, and at the same time, the history of the Deutschen Historikerverband itself is closely linked to the city as well.
First attested in 1158, Munich became a ducal seat in the middle of the 13th century, before was made a royal residence in the first half of the 14th century – for a time, it was even an imperial residence. Even today, the Alte Hof still stands as a reminder of the early days. Over the centuries, the residence was gradually expanded, acting as the seat of the Bavarian dukes, electoral princes and kings, including Maximilian I Joseph (* 1756, † 1825), who became the first Bavarian king in 1806 and is one of the namesakes of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. The university was founded by the eponymous Ludwig IX (* 1417, † 1479), Duke of Bavaria-Landshut, and originally called Ingolstadt its home. Temporarily housed in Landshut at the beginning of the 19th century, the university came to Munich in 1826. In 1840, under King Ludwig I (* 1786, † 1868), the main building was erected at its present location, with its present form being the result of extensions added at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.
Shortly before this construction began, the first meeting of German historians took place in Munich in 1893. At the time it consisted only in a small group of scholars and teachers from southern Germany, who protested against the Prussian history curriculum and the political instrumentalization of history lessons especially by Kaiser Wilhelm II (* 1859, † 1941). After the founding of the Association of German Historians in 1895, the Historikertag returned to Munich twice, in 1949 for the first Historikertag after the Second World War and in 1996 to discuss the theme of “history as argument”. Even today, the traces of the rise of the National Socialists in the professed “Capital of the Movement” and of the Second World War can still be discovered in many places in the city as well as at the university. At the former Salinengebäude on the corner of Ludwigs- and Schellingstraße, the “wounds of remembrance” are still visible – and the university likewise commemorates the White Rose’s resistance to the Nazi regime, not least because of its location on the Geschwister-Scholl-Platz.
The LMU, the largest German brick and mortar university with approximately 51,000 students, and the Technical University together shape the atmosphere in the district of Maxvorstadt, which has become a lively place of education, culture and exchange with its numerous museums, galleries and cafés. The organizers are more than pleased to welcome all attendees to the 53rd Deutscher Historikertag on the theme of “struggles of interpretation”, and are delighted to celebrate the 125th birthday of the Association of German Historians in the heart of Munich.