History of the Association

Hin­ter dem Stu­den­ten­wohn­heim Geschwis­ter Scholl e.V. steht der 1956 gegrün­de­te, gleich­na­mi­ge Ver­ein (Stu­den­ten­wohn­heim Geschwis­ter Scholl e.V.). Er ist Eigen­tü­mer des Wohn­heims und ver­wal­tet es seit des­sen Eröff­nung 1960.

History of the Association

The asso­cia­ti­on „Stu­den­ten­wohn­heim Geschwis­ter Scholl e.V.” was foun­ded in 1956 and owns the stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory Geschwis­ter Scholl. The asso­cia­ti­on has been mana­ging the dor­mi­t­ory sin­ce its ope­ning in 1960.

The Initial Situation (1946 to 1956)

An aerial photograph from the Schwere Reiter Straße area in 1945, the plot of the Schollheim is marked in red. Source: StaMü FS-1945–7125.

After World War II, 50% of the buil­dings in the city of Munich were des­troy­ed. Con­se­quent­ly, around 300,000 peo­p­le were left home­l­ess. When the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty (TUM) resu­med clas­ses in April 1946, fol­lo­wed by the Lud­wig Maxi­mi­li­an Uni­ver­si­ty (LMU) in June 1946, the urgent need was­n’t the con­s­truc­tion of stu­dent dor­mi­t­ories. The more pres­sing con­cern was the crea­ti­on of housing in gene­ral to alle­via­te the dire housing cri­sis. To achie­ve this goal, allo­ca­ti­on gui­de­lines for social housing excluded ren­ting rooms to stu­dents. Howe­ver, the num­ber of stu­dents increased at both uni­ver­si­ties; by 1949, the­re were appro­xi­m­ate­ly 15,000 stu­dents. The rising num­ber of stu­dents fur­ther exa­cer­ba­ted the housing shorta­ge in Munich. By the ear­ly 1950s, the situa­ti­on had wor­sened. Given that the pro­vi­si­on of accom­mo­da­ti­on for stu­dents was not a prio­ri­ty in housing poli­cy due to the over­all housing cri­sis, impro­ving the situa­ti­on was only pos­si­ble through pri­va­te initiatives.

The founding of the Association (1956)

Back then, as it is today, child­ren from less afflu­ent fami­lies should have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to attend uni­ver­si­ty. This requi­red, and still requi­res, the avai­la­bi­li­ty of afforda­ble housing.

To crea­te this, on June 13, 1956, in a side room of Café Ode­on at Munich’s Ode­ons­platz, the non-pro­fit asso­cia­ti­on „Stu­den­ten­wohn­heim Geschwis­ter Scholl e.V.” was foun­ded. The sole objec­ti­ve of the association’s sta­tu­tes was the con­s­truc­tion and main­ten­an­ce of a stu­dent dormitory.

The idea for buil­ding a stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory ori­gi­na­ted within the Asso­cia­ti­on of Social Demo­cra­tic Aca­de­mics. The sug­ges­ti­on to form an asso­cia­ti­on came from Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel, a mem­ber of the SPD (Social Demo­cra­tic Par­ty) and the Socia­list Ger­man Stu­dent Uni­on (SDS). At the time, the 30-year-old Vogel was a magis­tra­te and work­ed in the Sta­te Chan­cel­lery of Bava­ri­an Minis­ter Pre­si­dent Dr. Wil­helm Hoe­g­ner, later beco­ming the Mayor of Munich and Fede­ral Minis­ter of Jus­ti­ce. Through the asso­cia­ti­on and pri­va­te con­nec­tions, Vogel mana­ged to enlist the sup­port of three indi­vi­du­als for the plan to build a stu­dent dormitory:


  • The der­ma­to­lo­gist and Rec­tor of LMU, Dr. Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni,
  • Fritz Koch, Bava­ri­an Minis­ter of Jus­ti­ce, and
  • Adolf Eugen Sams­tag, Board Mem­ber of the for­mer Bava­ri­an Mor­tga­ge and Exch­an­ge Bank.


28 indi­vi­du­als respon­ded to the invi­ta­ti­on from the com­mit­tee led by Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni, inclu­ding poli­ti­ci­ans, pro­fes­sors, entre­pre­neurs, unio­nists, ban­kers, publishers, wri­ters, jour­na­lists, and seni­or offi­ci­als. Many of them were pro­mi­nent oppon­ents and vic­tims of Natio­nal Socia­lism, most due to their social demo­cra­tic invol­vement, hiding Jews, or assis­ting them in esca­ping. They repre­sent the „other” Ger­ma­ny around the time of World War II.

At the foun­ding of the asso­cia­ti­on, the fol­lo­wing posi­ti­ons were elected:

  • as Chair­man: Prof. Dr. Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni (as men­tio­ned above),
  • as his Depu­ty: Minis­ter Dr. Fritz Koch (as men­tio­ned above),
  • as Mem­bers of the Board: Adolf Eugen Sams­tag (as men­tio­ned abo­ve) and Erwin Essl, Mem­ber of the Sta­te Par­lia­ment and Dis­trict Mana­ger of IG Metall Bava­ria, also Chair­man of the Socia­list Workers’ Youth in Schwein­furt until 1933,
  • as Mana­ging Direc­tor: Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel (as men­tio­ned above).

The patron of the asso­cia­ti­on was the Bava­ri­an Prime Minis­ter Dr. Wil­helm Hoe­g­ner (as men­tio­ned above).

The assem­bly deci­ded to appoint an addi­tio­nal Mem­ber of the Board through co-opti­on to balan­ce out the domi­nan­ce of Social Demo­cra­tic asso­cia­ti­on mem­bers in the exe­cu­ti­ve board.

This posi­ti­on was fil­led by:

  • Dr. Rolf Roden­stock, Pre­si­dent of the Bava­ri­an Employ­ers’ Asso­cia­ti­on and mem­ber of the Fede­ra­ti­on of Ger­man Industries.
Below: Photogallery of the leading founding members

Among other foun­ding mem­bers were:

It’s note­wor­t­hy that many of the asso­cia­ti­on and board mem­bers had per­so­nal con­nec­tions with each other:

Wil­helm Hoe­g­ner and the father of the Scholl siblings, Robert Scholl, knew each other per­so­nal­ly. They lived in the same street and deve­lo­ped a fri­end­ship, with their fami­lies fre­quent­ly visi­ting each other..

Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni was a fri­end and sup­port­er of Hans-Jochen Vogel, who, in turn, knew the Jus­ti­ce Minis­ter Koch well from his work start­ing in 1952 as an asses­sor in the Minis­try of Jus­ti­ce and the Bava­ri­an Sta­te Chan­cel­lery. The edi­tor-in-chief of the Bava­ri­an Staats­zei­tung, Dr. Karl-Heinz Lan­ge, was also part of Vogel’s cir­cle of friends.

Finding a Name (1956)

Bes­i­des alle­via­ting the housing shorta­ge for stu­dents, the­re was ano­ther moti­ve behind the con­s­truc­tion of a stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory. The then Bava­ri­an SPD chair­man and depu­ty fede­ral chair­man, Wal­de­mar von Knoe­rin­gen, aimed to trans­form the SPD from a class-based par­ty into a people’s par­ty by making it elec­ta­ble for aca­de­mics among other stra­te­gies. The Working Group of Social Demo­cra­tic Aca­de­mics con­side­red the idea of estab­li­shing a stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory that would advo­ca­te for the SPD and inspi­re young peo­p­le, future aca­de­mics, to embrace social democracy.

This noti­on was pivo­tal in naming it „Geschwis­ter Scholl” (Scholl Siblings): By evo­king the memo­ry of two cou­ra­ge­ous young indi­vi­du­als who sacri­fi­ced their lives for free­dom and demo­cra­cy, the cur­rent gene­ra­ti­on of stu­dents was meant to be moti­va­ted to enga­ge with the values of demo­cra­cy and the con­sti­tu­ti­on. The­r­e­fo­re, the Working Group sought cont­act with Robert Scholl, the father of the Scholl siblings, and recei­ved his appr­oval for the naming. This decis­i­on was likely fur­ther sup­port­ed by the fri­end­ship that the patron Hoe­g­ner shared with Robert Scholl.

Opening of House 1 and Unveiling of the Monument (1956 to 1960)

The Chair­man of the Asso­cia­ti­on, Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni, along with other pro­mi­nent sup­port­ers, mana­ged, through their own good exam­p­le and lever­aging their con­nec­tions, to rai­se the neces­sa­ry equi­ty capi­tal through fund­rai­sing in just two years. This enab­led them to app­ly for govern­ment aid and bank loans to build the first house. Fol­lo­wing the sel­ec­tion of archi­tect Wer­ner Wir­sing, a con­s­truc­tion peri­od of a litt­le over a year, and the arri­val of the first stu­dents, House 1 was inau­gu­ra­ted on Janu­ary 7, 1960. It pro­vi­ded 144 afforda­ble housing units.

Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel’s ope­ning speech was atten­ded by seve­ral distin­gu­is­hed guests, inclu­ding the Hoe­g­ner cou­ple, Robert Scholl, Prof. Dr. Theo­dor Maunz (Bava­ri­an Minis­ter of Cul­tu­re from 1957 to 1964), Prof. Dr. Max Kneissl (Rec­tor of the TUM), Prof. Dr. Egon Wiberg (Vice-Rec­tor of the LMU), Tho­mas Wim­mer (Mayor of Munich), the Wir­sing cou­ple, Mat­hil­de Mar­chio­ni­ni, Hans Deme­ter (Chair­man of Munich’s SPD), and Man­fred Schmidt (Depu­ty Fede­ral Chair­man of the SDS).

Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel, excerpt from the speech at the ope­ning of the Scholl­heim on Janu­ary 7, 1960:

„The Fede­ral Repu­blic is curr­ent­ly trou­bled by a wave of anti-Semi­tic and neo-Nazi graf­fi­ti. This should par­ti­cu­lar­ly prompt us to express, with utmost cla­ri­ty, our com­mit­ment to the vic­tims of Natio­nal Socia­lism and its hor­rors. I belie­ve, Mr. Mayor Scholl, that it has a pro­found signi­fi­can­ce that in the­se days, we give our house the name of your child­ren, who were mur­de­red by a detest­a­ble system.“

Hans Jochen Vogel 1960
Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel with his wife at the memorial unveiling ceremony.

The speech by Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel is still rele­vant today. The stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory was inten­ded to be a place of remem­brance and a war­ning for the future. The­r­e­fo­re, the asso­cia­ti­on deci­ded to erect a memo­ri­al for the mur­de­red Scholl siblings and announ­ced a com­pe­ti­ti­on for it. The design by sculp­tor Chris­ti­ne Stad­ler was award­ed and brought to life. The memo­ri­al is among the most reco­gni­zed works of the artist. It was finan­ced through a dona­ti­on of 1,500 DM from the IG Metall Bayern.

During the unvei­ling of the memo­ri­al on Febru­ary 17, 1962, the his­to­ri­an and mem­ber of the asso­cia­ti­on, Prof. Dr. Alex­an­der Schenk Graf von Stauf­fen­berg, brot­her of Claus von Stauf­fen­berg, spo­ke, among other things, the following:

Am Denkmal (v.l.): Vereinsvorstand Prof. Dr. Marchionini und Prof. Dr. Alexander Graf von Stauffenberg
At the memorial (from left): Association Chairman Prof. Dr. Marchionini (left) and Prof. Dr. Alexander Graf von Stauffenberg.

„The real secret of their sacri­fice and their hea­vy and proud deaths, 19 years ago today, seems to have been the mea­ning of their seve­re and self-cho­sen path impo­sed upon them in the bloom of their youth. This mea­ning, expres­sed in one word, is „expia­ti­on”: that they, unli­ke the thou­sands and tens of thou­sands of us who, through timi­di­ty and cowar­di­ce, through tole­rance and pas­si­vi­ty, were also invol­ved in the dis­as­ter, cle­an­sed the tain­ted earth and res­to­red the lost self-respect for us others.“

A lot of pro­mi­nent figu­res atten­ded the hall for the unvei­ling cele­bra­ti­on of the memo­ri­al. The chair­man of the asso­cia­ti­on, Prof. Dr. Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni, wel­co­med Dr. Wil­helm Hoe­g­ner, Munich’s Mayor Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel, Robert Scholl, and Erwin Essl repre­sen­ting the IG Metall.

Along­side the association’s chair­man, Prof. Dr. Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni, the exe­cu­ti­ve direc­tor of the asso­cia­ti­on, Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel, was ano­ther dri­ving force in the estab­lish­ment of the asso­cia­ti­on, fund­rai­sing efforts, and the con­s­truc­tion of House 1. In 1960, at just 34 years old, he was elec­ted Mayor of the Bava­ri­an capi­tal, Munich.

Picture gallery from the unveiling ceremony of the memorial of the Scholl siblings by Christine Stadler on February 17, 1962.

Management under Robert Jenisch (1960 to 2016)

below: Picture gallery of the Chairmen of the Association

Sin­ce Dr. Vogel was unable to con­ti­nue lea­ding the asso­cia­ti­on, the orga­niza­ti­on nee­ded to find someone new for the role. The spot­light fell on Robert Jenisch, a legal pro­fes­sio­nal who, as a young mem­ber of the SDS, had been invol­ved with the asso­cia­ti­on sin­ce its incep­ti­on. During the foun­ding peri­od, he play­ed a signi­fi­cant role in pre­pa­ring for the con­s­truc­tion of House 1 and had long been actively sup­port­ing the manage­ment. In Decem­ber 1960, he was elec­ted by the gene­ral assem­bly to suc­ceed Vogel as the association’s exe­cu­ti­ve direc­tor. Imme­dia­te­ly, he began fund­rai­sing for House 2, along with its plan­ning and exe­cu­ti­on. Just four years after the ope­ning of the Geschwis­ter Scholl Stu­dent Resi­dence with House 1, the exten­si­on on the neigh­bor­ing ruin site, fea­turing 98 addi­tio­nal rooms, was occu­p­ied at the begin­ning of 1964.

The association’s chair­man, Prof. Dr. Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni, wit­nessed the com­ple­ti­on of House 2 but unfort­u­na­te­ly did­n’t have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to enjoy the suc­ces­ses of the asso­cia­ti­on for long. He pas­sed away on April 6, 1965, at the young age of 66.

The association’s assem­bly elec­ted the bio­che­mist Feo­dor Lynen as his suc­ces­sor, at the time the direc­tor of the Max Planck Insti­tu­te for Cell Che­mis­try in Mar­tins­ried near Munich. It’s admi­ra­ble that the Nobel lau­rea­te in Medi­ci­ne, among his num­e­rous other hono­ra­ry posi­ti­ons and mem­ber­ships in sci­en­ti­fic com­mit­tees and socie­ties, also took on this respon­si­bi­li­ty. He pas­sed away on August 6, 1979, at the age of 68.

After him, the phy­si­cist Edgar Lüscher, Pro­fes­sor of Expe­ri­men­tal Phy­sics at the TUM, assu­med the chair­man­ship of the asso­cia­ti­on. Despi­te being hea­vi­ly occu­p­ied with his rese­arch in the field of solid-sta­te phy­sics and estab­li­shing the phy­sics depart­ment in Gar­ching, he mana­ged to allo­ca­te the neces­sa­ry time to ful­fill the duties of the asso­cia­ti­on. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, Pro­fes­sor Lüscher did not live to an advan­ced age; he pas­sed away on Janu­ary 16, 1990, at the age of 64.

As the suc­ces­sor to Pro­fes­sor Lüscher in the chair­man­ship of the asso­cia­ti­on, the orga­niza­ti­on mana­ged to per­sua­de the renow­ned der­ma­to­lo­gist Pro­fes­sor Dr. med. Dr. phil. Sieg­fried Borel­li. He held the posi­ti­on of Pro­fes­sor Eme­ri­tus and Direc­tor of the Cli­nic and Poly­cli­nic for Der­ma­to­lo­gy and All­er­go­lo­gy at the TUM and ser­ved as Medi­cal Direc­tor of the Cli­nic for Der­ma­to­lo­gy and All­er­go­lo­gy in Davos (Alex­an­der­haus­kli­nik). Pro­fes­sor Borel­li, a for­mer stu­dent and medi­cal col­la­bo­ra­tor of Pro­fes­sor Mar­chio­ni­ni, con­side­red it his duty from the out­set to dedi­ca­te hims­elf with gre­at com­mit­ment to the work of his aca­de­mic mentor.

Robert Jenisch, in addi­ti­on to his invol­vement in the foun­ding of the asso­cia­ti­on and the con­s­truc­tion of Hou­ses 1 and 2, also signi­fi­cant­ly con­tri­bu­ted to the con­s­truc­tion of the third pha­se, „House 3”. This pha­se con­sists of apart­ments and was rea­dy for occu­p­an­cy in Octo­ber 2019. The appr­ovals for the con­s­truc­tion and finan­cial plan­ning took place during his life­time. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, he did not live to see the com­ple­ti­on of House 3, as he pas­sed away in Octo­ber 2016 at the age of 85, after 56 years of vol­un­t­a­ry manage­ment of the asso­cia­ti­on. Like no other, he devo­ted ener­gy and pas­si­on to the suc­cess of his stu­dent home, fought for it, and lived for it.

The inauguration of House 3 and upcoming renovations (2016 – present)

Photo gallery of the managing directors of the association

After Robert Jenisch’s pas­sing, the­re was an imme­dia­te need to elect a new mana­ging direc­tor to over­see the future of House 3 con­s­truc­tion. Alt­hough Jenisch’s death was unex­pec­ted, he had alre­a­dy pre­pared a suc­ces­sor for his respon­si­bi­li­ties. The­r­e­fo­re, the board of direc­tors appoin­ted Tho­mas Knappstein as his suc­ces­sor in the manage­ment posi­ti­on. Jenisch had known Knappstein from their col­la­bo­ra­ti­on at the con­s­truc­tion pro­fes­sio­nal asso­cia­ti­on; he had sug­gested Knappstein’s elec­tion as a board mem­ber in 2012. The­se were favorable con­di­ti­ons for Knappstein to step into the role, mana­ging the ongo­ing affairs of the asso­cia­ti­on along­side the super­vi­si­on of House 3 con­s­truc­tion and pre­pa­ra­ti­ons for plan­ned reno­va­tions of Hou­ses 1 and 2. Upon the com­ple­ti­on of House 3 con­s­truc­tion, due to his deman­ding role as a lea­der in the pro­fes­sio­nal asso­cia­ti­on, Tho­mas Knappstein resi­gned from his posi­ti­on as mana­ging direc­tor in March.

The board appoin­ted Fried­rich Graf­fe, the vice chair­man of the asso­cia­ti­on, as his inte­rim suc­ces­sor. He alre­a­dy ser­ves as the mana­ging direc­tor of the Alfred and Karl Mar­chio­ni­ni Foundation.

The long-ser­ving asso­cia­ti­on chair­man, Prof. Dr. Dr. Sieg­fried Borel­li, due to age-rela­ted reasons, step­ped down as the chair­man of the board at the end of the gene­ral mee­ting in Janu­ary 2020. Reco­gni­zing his merits for the resi­dence and the asso­cia­ti­on, the gene­ral mee­ting unani­mously deci­ded to pro­po­se hono­ra­ry chair­man­ship of the asso­cia­ti­on to Prof. Borelli.

The new chair­man of the asso­cia­ti­on elec­ted was the his­to­ri­an and media sci­en­tist, Prof. Dr. Peter von Rüden. He pre­vious­ly held posi­ti­ons as the direc­tor of the Adolf-Grim­me-Insti­tut, head of the edu­ca­ti­on and cul­tu­re depart­ment at NDR Tele­vi­si­on, and led the rese­arch depart­ment for broad­cas­ting histo­ry at the Leib­nitz Insti­tu­te for Media Rese­arch and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hamburg’s Insti­tu­te for Modern Ger­man Lite­ra­tu­re and Media Cul­tu­re. Bet­ween 1969 and 1972, he ser­ved as a tutor at the Geschwis­ter Scholl stu­dent resi­dence and has been a board mem­ber sin­ce 2017.

60 Years of Schollheim and Inauguration Ceremony of House 3: Memories for the Future (2020)

We, as a coll­ec­ti­ve of the asso­cia­ti­on and resi­dents of the dor­mi­t­ory, take pri­de in the con­ti­nuous sto­ry of our asso­cia­ti­on, and con­se­quent­ly, that of the dor­mi­t­ory its­elf. During the com­me­mo­ra­ti­on of the 60 years of Scholl­heim and the offi­ci­al inau­gu­ra­ti­on of House 3, dis­cus­sions revol­ved around its future. Buil­ding upon the histo­ry of Scholl­heim, Munich’s Mayor, Die­ter Rei­ter, the inau­gu­ral mana­ging direc­tor of our asso­cia­ti­on, Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel, and our association’s chair­man, Prof. Dr. Peter von Rüden, arti­cu­la­ted thoughts and aspi­ra­ti­ons for the future.

Prof. Dr. von Rüden reca­pi­tu­la­ted the histo­ry of our asso­cia­ti­on and arti­cu­la­ted the fol­lo­wing thoughts regar­ding the present:

„Per­so­nal­ly, the assess­ment from our first patron, Wil­helm Hoe­g­ner, on the fail­ure of the demo­crats befo­re the end of the Wei­mar Repu­blic in the book „Flucht vor Hit­ler: Erin­ne­run­gen an die Kapi­tu­la­ti­on der ers­ten deut­schen Repu­blik 1933” is of gre­at rele­van­ce to me. It descri­bes the inter­nal, gra­du­al dis­so­lu­ti­on of a demo­cra­cy. To put it suc­cinct­ly: Hoe­g­ner pro­vi­des evi­dence that tho­se who are dor­mant in demo­cra­cy awa­ken in dictatorship.“

Professor Dr. von Rüden during his speech for the 60th anniversary celebration

To the Scholl siblings, Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel recal­led in his speech, appealing:

„Even more important [than inter­na­tio­nal acquain­tance­ship] was ano­ther cont­act for all the­se resi­dents – that with the Scholl siblings, who­se names they encoun­te­red dai­ly. They were in con­stant cont­act with two indi­vi­du­als who, in a not enti­re­ly easy pro­cess, reco­gni­zed the cri­mi­nal natu­re of the regime at that time, cal­led for resis­tance against it, and ulti­m­ate­ly sacri­fi­ced their lives for it. Indi­vi­du­als who aspi­red to a socie­tal order based on values, offe­ring free­dom to peo­p­le and aspi­ring for peace.

The­r­e­fo­re, the remem­brance of Hans and Sophie Scholl is also a call to decisi­ve­ly coun­ter the attacks on the­se values and our demo­cra­cy, which, at pre­sent, are cer­tain­ly not lacking.“

Mayor Dieter Reiter during his speech for the 60th anniversary celebration.  während seiner Reder zum 60-jährigen Jubiläum

Mayor Die­ter Rei­ter empha­si­zed in his cere­mo­ni­al speech the con­nec­tion of all Munich mayors with the stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory bea­ring the name of the Scholl siblings. The need to com­bat racism, dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on, and anti­se­mi­tism has once again beco­me rele­vant. The­se are deve­lo­p­ments that, alt­hough still mana­geable in Munich, as Rei­ter sta­ted, „We never want to see this again in our city.”

With Die­ter Reiter’s speech, the arc of sup­port for the Stu­den­ten­wohn­heim Geschwis­ter Scholl e.V. spans from the first Munich mayor after World War II, Tho­mas Wim­mer, to the cur­rent one. This unders­cores that our stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory is not just one among many, but rather a uni­que fea­ture of Munich. To con­ti­nue being so, and to honor our foun­ding ide­als and name­sa­kes in the future, it is essen­ti­al for us to be more than just an ordi­na­ry stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory: a place for deba­ting poli­tics, con­tem­po­ra­ry histo­ry, lite­ra­tu­re, and art.