Nuremberg

?????????????????????Avid tourist that I am, I could not pass up Nuremburg just because a head cold left me barely able to move.  With my pockets stuffed with tissues, I took myself to the back of the bus trying not to touch anything that might pass the cold on to others.  I wish someone earlier in the trip had been equally careful.

Nuremberg 005As we entered the city, we passed the “world’s largest chair.”  The triple X on the building meant they specialized in extra large items, not in adult-rated videos.

Nuremberg 004Zeppelinfeld – Zeppelin Field – was the site of the infamous Nazi Nuremberg Rallies from 1933 to 1938.  Nuremberg was selected for the very pragmatic reason that it was a railroad center easily reached from all parts of Germany.  The first party rally was held in Munich in 1923 and the last, the “Rally of Peace”  in 1939, was canceled because it was to occur one day before Germany invaded Poland.

unfinished Congress building

unfinished Congress building

When Alie was a student at American University, she served on a student council that arranged for a showing of the famous film Triumph of the Will, a risky step that might not be permitted in today’s universities.  We had not met, but I went to see the film and remember sitting a couple seats away from the American Nazi George Lincoln Rockwell.  The film was propaganda for an unethical system, but it was one of the most powerful films ever made and still influences documentaries.  We were both interested to learn, however, that Zeppelinfeld was not large enough to hold the crowds in the film, and they were shot on other parade grounds.

2013 Room 600

2013 Room 600

The unfinished Congress building was across a lake.  Planned to hold future Nazi Party congresses, construction stopped at the beginning of the war.  Zeppelinfeld is not much now.  In the 1960s, the large arches that formed the backdrop for Hitler’s speeches were blown up as dangerous.  One suspects they were regarded more politically dangerous than structurally dangerous.  It is unfortunate because the architecture is a reminder to us of what totalitarian states are all about.  It is massive architecture designed to make a person feel insignificant as an individual but still part of a powerful larger entity.

1945 Room 600

1945 Room 600

Therefore, it was fitting that our tour next took us to see Courtroom 600, site of the Nuremberg Trials.   Again, the trials were held here in the Palace of Justice for practical reasons: it was next to a prison; and it was one of the few buildings not seriously damaged at the end of the war.  Twenty-two leading Nazis were tried in the room (one in 1386-1396 fountainabsentia).  It was the first trial in which people were held accountable for war crimes, for crimes against humanity and for violations of international law.  It is still an operating courtroom, so we were fortunate that no trail was going on, and we were able to sit in the room for an excellent talk by one of the guides.

Nuremberg 015We then visited the Nuremberg market, site of the famous Christmas Market.  A nineteen meter- high gold fountain dating back to 1396 stands in one corner; but the current fountain is just one of many Nuremberg 021reconstructions over the centuries.  At noon, a large clock in the Church of Our Lady tower shows the Electors parading before the Holy Roman Emperor.

Nuremberg 022

Looking at the clock

After lunch, Michelle went to see the Documentation Center, a modern addition to the unfinished Congress building.  There one can see records demonstrating the causes and consequences of the rise of the Nazis.  Alie decided to read, and I took my contagious head cold to bed.

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About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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2 Responses to Nuremberg

  1. Barbara Vas says:

    Hi Alie/Ray. Bernie and I were with you in Brugge (Bernie is in your photo in a rust coat checking his camera in the lace shop) and I am “Looking at the clock” in a white coat on the right side of the above picture. We also had lunch with the two of you in Brussels (I sat across from Alie and Bernie was next to you). It was a wonderful holiday and we enjoyed meeting you folks. Next year we’ll be going to Greece and the Dalmatian Coast. We hope to run across you folks and Michelle on some future trip. Cheers!

    Like

  2. ralietravels says:

    We remember you well. It was nice to have met you. I think next year’s big trip for us will be another around the U.S.

    Like

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