To pursue its totalitarian goals, the Nazi state required not only military and industrial resources but also scientific research. In the Third Reich, scientific and technological disciplines and the technical universities were therefore an essential component and an important pillar of the Nazi regime. In the course of the war the various sections of the Wehrmacht set up and financed major research complexes as well as institutes and research facilities. The universities received numerous ‘war contracts’ and were transformed into ‘war operations’. Munich Technical University (at the time Technische Hochschule, today Technische Universität) must therefore be viewed in this context. Of the ten technical universities in the German Reich, Munich was second after Berlin in terms of student numbers. As such, it was heavily involved in research contracts for the Wehrmacht and in 1943 it was named a ‘model war operation’.
The exhibition has been realised jointly with Munich Technical University (TUM). Using a wealth of previously unknown image and archive material, it documented the personnel, ideological and institutional changes and the instrumentalisation of the university for the purpose of preparing for and waging war. The ouster of seventeen Jewish and politically undesirable university lecturers and the removal of (their) doctoral titles was one theme of the exhibition. Another is how some professors accommodated themselves to the Nazi regime and mobilised themselves. The central focus was the ideologisation and militarisation of the entire university and the fate of teaching and research in the individual faculties. The exhibition concluded by looking at the phase of de-Nazification and the university’s approach to its Nazi past after 1945.