Münster is an independent city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural center of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Regierungsbezirk Münster. The city is best known as the location of the Anabaptist rebellion during the Protestant Reformation, and as the site of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War in 1648.
Münster in The War That Came Early
At the outset of the war, Münster was targeted for day light bombing raids by the RAF. As the war continued, quiet disdain for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, grew more open, especially as Germany's fortunes in the war waned. One of the key critics of the Nazi regime was Münster's Catholic bishop, Clemens August von Galen, who was critical of Nazis' euthanasia programs. Finally, after years of von Galen's criticisms, Hitler ordered the bishop arrested, prompting a round of demonstrations in Münster. In the spring of 1943, another demonstration in the square outside of Münster's cathedral erupted into violence when police officers fired on the crowd. While several protesters were shot, other were able to charge the line of police, inflicting damage in return. In response, German government sent the SS into Münster, who fortified the cathedral. While the people of Münster publicly accepted martial law, resentment boiled just below the surface.
In 1944, after Germany declared war on the United States, Hitler decided to broadcast a speech from Münster in April, in an attempt to regain the country's trust. Shortly after his speech began, a group called the Committee for the Salvation of the German Nation assassinated Hitler with a bomb, despite the heavy security measures the SS put into place. After a period of civil war, the Committee triumphed, and peace returned. Münster returned to normal.
Sarah Goldman grew up with her family in Münster before the war. As Jews, the family were subject to the restrictions of Nuremberg Race Laws, as well as bombing by the Allies. However, with the Nazis deposed and the war over, Sarah and her family regained their citizenship.