9 books directly related to Munich 📚

All 9 Munich books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Book cover of A Noble Treason: The Revolt of the Munich Students against Hitler

Why this book?

Resistance in Nazi Germany was overwhelmingly moral and almost always fatal, but too often attention is focused on the military resistance because they were the only people in Nazi Germany with the means to topple the Nazi regime. This tale of young students outraged by the corruption and brutality of the world around them, however, has a timelessness and a universal appeal. It is the story of youthful indignation and an example of conscience over-ruling rationality and self-interest. Hanser’s book makes this clear in prose that is sober yet lively, pulling the reader in emotionally as well as intellectually.

A Noble Treason: The Revolt of the Munich Students against Hitler

By Richard Hanser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Noble Treason as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans were handsome, bright university students in 1942 Germany. As members of the Hitler Youth, they had once been enthusiastic supporters of the German renewal promised by National Socialism. But as their realization of Nazi barbarism grew, so did their moral outrage.

Hans and Sophie formed a small group of like-minded friends, which initially included two medical students, a student of philosophy, and a fifty-year-old professor. They self-identified as Christians from various traditions-Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox-and they called themselves the White Rose. In a darkened studio lent them by an artist, they printed eloquent anti-Nazi…


Book cover of Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil

Why this book?

Ron Rosenbaum, an American journalist, is the original re-discoverer of the long-forgotten Munich Post. Explaining Hitler is both about the Nazi dictator and about humankind’s seemingly eternal quest to understand his power and appeal. Rosenbaum devotes a chapter to the Munich Post, calling the newspaper one of the first explainers of Hitler as it warned Germans about the perils he posed to democracy.

Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil

By Ron Rosenbaum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Explaining Hitler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hitler did not escape the bunker in Berlin but, seven decades later, he has managed to escape explanation in ways both frightening and profound. Explaining Hitler is an extraordinary quest, an expedition into the war zone of Hitler theories. This is a passionate, enthralling book that illuminates what Hitler explainers tell us about Hitler, about the explainers, and about ourselves.

Book cover of The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

Why this book?

In the dark era of post-World War II Germany, journalist, author, and translator Jella Lepman organized a traveling exhibit of over 2,000 books from 14 countries. The Lady with the Books is a fictionalized account of Lepman’s project, told through the eyes of siblings Annelise and Peter, who enter the exhibit hoping to find food and discover something even more sustaining—books, and the hope of better days to come.

The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

By Kathy Stinson, Marie LaFrance (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lady with the Books as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by true events, a fictionalized retelling of how one woman brought a world of books to children in Germany after World War II, and changed their lives forever. Anneliese and Peter will never be the same after the war that took their father's life. One day, while wandering the ruined streets of Munich, the children follow a line of people entering a building, thinking there may be free food inside. Instead, they are delighted to discover a great hall filled with children's books --- more books than Anneliese can count. Here, they meet the lady with the books, who…

Hitler at Home

By Despina Stratigakos,

Book cover of Hitler at Home

Why this book?

This fascinating book takes the seemingly banal topic of Hitler’s domestic interiors as a way into exploring both how Hitler chose to project himself and how others – from foreign diplomats to ordinary Germans – learned to see him. From his initial humble quarters in Munich to his conservatively furnished apartments in Berlin and his mountain retreat in the Alps, the evolution of Hitler’s interior design ethos reflected his move from ordinary front soldier to European statesman. The reproduction of his furnishing choices in glossy consumer magazines, meanwhile, offered aspirational Germans a chance to remake their own homes in emulation of their idol. If this sounds familiar, well, that may be the point.

Hitler at Home

By Despina Stratigakos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hitler at Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revelatory look at the residences of Adolf Hitler, illuminating their powerful role in constructing and promoting the dictator's private persona both within Germany and abroad

Adolf Hitler's makeover from rabble-rouser to statesman coincided with a series of dramatic home renovations he undertook during the mid-1930s. This provocative book exposes the dictator's preoccupation with his private persona, which was shaped by the aesthetic and ideological management of his domestic architecture. Hitler's bachelor life stirred rumors, and the Nazi regime relied on the dictator's three dwellings-the Old Chancellery in Berlin, his apartment in Munich, and the Berghof, his mountain home on…

Sophie Scholl and the White Rose

By Annette Dumbach, Jud Newborn,

Book cover of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose

Why this book?

Sophie and Hans Scholl are often remembered as the siblings who “would not keep silent” against the Nazis until their arrest, flash trial, and execution by guillotine on February 22, 1943. What Sophie and Hans started was much more than a local students’ movement; The White Rose involved students, academics, clergy, and civilians in Munich and around other parts of Germany. The book captures and reflects upon the many dimensions of the activities of those involved, it contains all the 6 original leaflets published by the White Rose as well as indexes of the trial and sentences of its members.

Sophie Scholl and the White Rose

By Annette Dumbach, Jud Newborn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sophie Scholl and the White Rose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the gripping story of the five Munich university students who set up an underground resistance movement in World War II, featured in the award-winning Oscar-nominated film, Sophie Scholl - The Final Days. This 75th anniversary edition commemorates the 75 years since their arrest & execution in 1943. This updated edition includes a new preface and more photos.


Book cover of Where Ghosts Walked: Munich's Road to the Third Reich

Why this book?

For an understanding of how Munich became the birthplace of the Nazi movement, I highly recommend David Clay Large’s narrative nonfiction work Where Ghosts Walked: Munich’s Road To The Third Reich. At center stage in Large’s book is Munich itself, a beautiful city that before World War I was known as “Athens On The Isar” because of all of the writers, musicians, and artists it attracted. Large tells of the 1918 revolution that toppled Bavaria’s monarchy, of the Munich Soviet Republic that briefly took its place, of Bavarians’ embrace of right-wing extremism that followed the communists’ bloody ouster, and the giddy enthusiasm showered upon a mustered-out World War I corporal named Adolf Hitler as he spewed anti-Semitic and anti-democratic venom at rallies. 

Where Ghosts Walked: Munich's Road to the Third Reich

By David Clay Large,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where Ghosts Walked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Munich was the birthplace of Nazism and became the chief cultural shrine of the Third Reich. In exploring the question of why Nazism flourished in the 'Athens of the Isar', David Clay Large has written a compelling account of the cultural roots of the Nazi movement, allowing us to see that the conventional explanations for the movement's rise are not enough. Large's account begins in Munich's 'golden age', four decades before World War I, when the city's artists and writers produced some of the outstanding work of the modernist spirit. He sees a dark side to the city, a protofascist…

Der Fuehrer: Hitler's Rise to Power

By Konrad Heiden, Ralph Manheim (translator),

Book cover of Der Fuehrer: Hitler's Rise to Power

Why this book?

Like the Munich Post, Konrad Heiden was among the first explainers of Hitler. As a Munich-based reporter for the Frankfurter Zeitung newspaper in the early 1920s, Heiden wrote about the Nazis in the early stages of Hitler’s political career. Heiden provides useful insights into Hitler’s mastery of propaganda and lies as means of controlling people’s minds, a topic that is relevant in 21st-century politics.

Der Fuehrer: Hitler's Rise to Power

By Konrad Heiden, Ralph Manheim (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Der Fuehrer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This narrative is based partly on the author's own observations and experiences. However, even the most intimate episodes and reports of private conversations are grounded on documentary evidence or on statements of individuals who seemed thoroughly reliable.

The White Rose: Munich, 1942-1943

By Inge Scholl, Arthur R. Schultz (translator),

Book cover of The White Rose: Munich, 1942-1943

Why this book?

I read this book for research for my own book. The White Rose is the tragic story of Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends, German students who defied Hitler, forming the underground movement known as The White Rose. I was thrilled at the terror of the brother and sister taking chances, distributing anti-Nazi leaflets right under the eyes of the Gestapo. Handsome Hans, heartthrob of his female medical classmates, was the leader of the group, while serious, pious Sophie was his loyal lieutenant. Written by their sister, this account shows there were good people who opposed Hitler, risking everything. I had chills, imagining the terrible price the two siblings paid for their bravery. And my heart ached for their mother, who lost two children to Himmler’s archaic method of punishment—the guillotine.

The White Rose: Munich, 1942-1943

By Inge Scholl, Arthur R. Schultz (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The White Rose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The White Rose tells the story of Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl, who in 1942 led a small underground organization of German students and professors to oppose the atrocities committed by Hitler and the Nazi Party. They named their group the White Rose, and they distributed leaflets denouncing the Nazi regime. Sophie, Hans, and a third student were caught and executed.

Written by Inge Scholl (Han's and Sophie's sister), The White Rose features letters, diary excerpts, photographs of Hans and Sophie, transcriptions of the leaflets, and accounts of the trial and execution. This is a gripping account of courage and…

Book cover of The Eighth: Mahler and the World in 1910

Why this book?

This magnificent book focuses on a single piece of music, Gustav Mahler’s titanic Eighth Symphony, and its premiere in Munich in the summer of 1910, a major musical and cultural event that attracted many eminent personalities from all over Europe. Mahler himself had no doubts about the uniqueness of this symphony which he saw as his "gift to the nation ... a great joy-bringer,” not so far away from Beethoven’s message in his Ninth. He wrote: "Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound. There are no longer human voices, but planets and suns revolving." 

Johnson offers a detailed account of the work, its premiere, and the public response to it, a description of the deep personal traumas surrounding its composition (death of beloved daughter, marital turmoil, and terminal health troubles) and offers a profound analysis of the symphony’s musical structure, content, and originality. The book, however, goes well beyond this in painting a vast panorama of the cultural and political life in Austria and Germany ahead of the war calamity that would overtake all of Europe. This includes a detailed analysis of rising antisemitism of which Mahler was undoubtedly a victim. Johnson also details the nationalist and authoritarian currents that would disfigure politics all the way to our times.

The Eighth: Mahler and the World in 1910

By Stephen Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Eighth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Thrilling.' John Banville, Guardian

The Eighth Symphony was going to be different from anything Mahler had ever done before: it would speak in different tones, and of a different kind of experience. The world premiere in Munich in the summer of 1910 was the artistic breakthrough for which the composer had yearned all his adult life.

Stephen Johnson recounts the symphony's far-reaching effect on composers, conductors and writers of the time. Placing Mahler within his world, The Eighth reassesses Mahler's work in the context of the prevailing thought of his age, but also against the backdrop of that tumultuous summer,…