Munich is a city of migration – migration influences every facet of its social and urban development. Migration occurs when an individual permanently changes their place of residence from one country to another. In all its guises and with all its related challenges and issues, migration is a fact of life and is deeply embedded in society, past, present and future.

Following a four-year project, Munich City Council has chosen to establish migration research as a permanent feature of the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s work starting in 2019. The Museum will now endeavor to foreground the history of migration in Munich throughout its exhibitions and raise public awareness of its importance. It will study the actors, places and images that best shine a light on everyday life in a city of migration like Munich, and explore issues such as racism and discrimination. It will scour its collections for items and sources that recount the history of migration in Munich, a line of investigation that has taken a back seat until now. However, we should remember that resources such as these often present an outsider’s point of view.

Blue overall belonging to BMW employee Osman Ölmez. Osman Ölmez worked in the Munich body shop of BMW Plant from 1977 to 2007, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Resmiye Sönmezler‘s wedding dress, 1968, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Private photos belonging to the Günes family. Front: near Ostbahnhof station, 1976, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Guest book of Spanish restaurant Sevilla, 1950-1965, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Marionette belonging to the Czech workers’ education and training association Pokrok (Progress) in Munich, ca. 19910-1938, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
„Bunt kickt gut” soccer trophy from Westend Multicultural Youth Center (Multikulturelles Jugendzentrum Westend), 2006, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Tote bag „40th anniversary of Munich Foreign Residents‘ Advisory Council” (Ausländerbeirat München), 2014, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Door handles from the Radio Free Europe building, 1950-1995, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Bülent Ersoy album – Mahşeri Yaşıyorum, 1981, © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Goggles, canned food, coins and banknotes of different currencies – finds at Munich Central Station in November 2015. Provenance: Flüchtlingshilfe München e.V. © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Pontic Lyra (three-stringed instrument) by Theodoros Boulgarides (1964-2005) © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Module in the permanent exhibition „Typically Munich!" since December 2016: „Social consequences of the NSU in Munich" © Münchner Stadtmuseum

We have therefore sought to supplement our existing holdings with donations and loans from migrant associations, organizations and private individuals. We hope this will provide a more rounded historical picture and add new voices and viewpoints to our collections. With a view to developing our holdings and giving them greater visibility, we intend to establish new partnerships and make our exhibitions even more participatory– some are even set to travel in line with the museum’s ambition to portray Munich as a city of migration.