Friday, June 1, 2012

May 12 Nuremberg Germany Part 1

This is the plan for the day. I will split this long post into two parts.
We spent the morning lounging around reading. After lunch we boarded the buses for a city tour of Nuremberg.

As we drove into town we noticed houses and apartment blocks painted in bright colours. This because under communism everything was dull and grey.

Nuremberg held great significance during the Nazi Germany era. Because of the city's relevance to the Holy Roman Empire and its position in the centre of Germany, the Nazi Party chose the city to be the site of huge Nazi Party conventions – the Nuremberg rallies. The rallies were held annually from 1927 to 1938 in Nuremberg. After Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933 the Nuremberg rallies became huge Nazi propaganda events, a centre of Nazi ideals. The 1934 rally was filmed by Leni Riefenstahl, and made into a propaganda film called Triumph des Willens(Triumph of the Will). At the 1935 rally, Hitler specifically ordered the Reichstag to convene at Nuremberg to pass the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws which revoked German citizenship for all Jews. A number of premises were constructed solely for these assemblies, some of which were not finished. Today many examples of Nazi architecture can still be seen in the city.



. . "Serenadenhof" is the name given to the inner courtyard in the south-east wing of the Congress Hall on the former Party Rally Grounds. Because of its excellent acoustics, this courtyard during the summer months is the venue for open air concerts of all musical styles, many stars have performed here.
Kongresshalle - Hitler had wanted to outdo Rome's Colosseum - and that he did! The structure itself was never completed (along with some of the others he planned for his rally grounds). It is the largest remaining monumental National Socialist building in Germany.  Up to one million Party members would travel to Nuremberg for the week-long rallies, completely swamping the city, and the city, situated in the centre of Germany was easily accessible. Hitler also wanted to appropriate the city's history for the glorification of the Nazi party. A large auditorium was needed for this once a year event and so Hitler comissioned the Congress Hall.
The facade of the Congress Hall is made of granite slabs, to make it appear as moumental as possible.
The interior was never completed, all that was completed was the exterior structure. The proposed auditorium space was used as a surface carpark for many years and indeed still is. After sitting empty for some years, various plans were mooted including conversion into a shopping complex. Recently a new museum has opened in the building - the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds.



The view from across the lake looking towards Kongresshalle


Measuring the size of 12 football fields, the Zeppelin Field (named after the landing of one of Count Zeppelin‘s airships in 1909)  provided space for 200,000 people and it’s only with the help of old pictures or film footage that we can fathom how huge these Nuremberg rallies were.


What it looked like when used by Hitler



An incredible photo from 1938
 Zeppelin Grandstand, around 1938Source






During World War II, the complex remained largely intact. On 22 April, 1945, the US Army held its victory parade at the main grandstand. After the ceremony, the swastika was blown up, to make the entire world aware of the end of National Socialism.Blowing up of the swastika on the Zeppelin Grandstand, 22 April, 1945


Nuremberg Jail
October 2, 1946

Next stop was the courthouse where the Nuremberg 11 were tried.
Nazi Germany planned and implemented the Holocaust within the devastating maelstrom of World War II. It was in this context that the IMT was created, a trial of judgment for war crimes. The IMT was not a court convened to mete out punishment for the Holocaust alone. The tribunal was designed to document and redress crimes committed in the course of the most massive conflict the world has ever known. In October 1945, the IMT formally indicted the Nuremberg defendants on four counts: crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit these crimes.
You can't enter the building.



The room where the trials took place.




2 comments:

  1. Its crazy that I JUST read a book about the trials for Nazi leaders and - in the case of the book - doctors. I will have to link with this post when I write the review.

    Those are amazing photos of the swastika being blown off the stadium.

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