"Reichsparteitagsgelände" Nazi Rally Grounds - Zeppelinfeld Tip by Sjalen


If this place does not make your mind boggle, I don't know what does. This is the area where the nazi party had their congresses from 1933 and onwards. The reason they picked Nürnberg has nothing to do with people being particularly sympathetic to their case here, but rather the nationalistic symbol that Nürnberg was to Germans, with all its history.

You can wander around the huge area and it is when you do this that you realise just how big this machinery was! The barracks and marching fields are gone (either bombed or destroyed by the Germans themselves after the war), as are some of the other buildings, but you still see maps and pictures and as you can see where it was in the distance, you try to take in the scale of it all.

What is left to see is the haunting Congress building itself, and the Zeppelin field arena. The Congress building is built like a roman Colosseum, and you need not be particularly clever to figure out why. A corner of it has been turned into a very interesting Doku-Zenter, a museum, telling the story of national socialism victims and the events leading to the later trial. Here you walk around with audio-guide.

The Zeppelin field gives you just as odd a feeling, with its crumbling tribunes which could seat 70 000 people, whilst 250 000 people could dance or march in the field itself. They are crumbling as the authorities don't know what to do with it all, since they are understandably terrified of creating a shrine to neo-nazism. At the same time, you want it to be left for posterity, so that everyone can see this so important event in European history and let future generations learn from it.

Speer who designed the tribunes also designed a platform in the middle, for Hitler himself to stand on, to create a cult around his personality, and it is nothing but eerie to find yourself there, trying to take it all in. For the Englishman next to me, it was mindblowing. He wasn't himself all day afterwards.

Address: Luitpoldhain
Directions: Trams 6 and 9 to the Doku-Zenter
Phone: +49 - 911 2317538
Website: http://www.museen.nuernberg.de

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 18, 2004
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