Historic Travel-The Dark Days

Friday morning, we packed up and left the boat for good as we took buses to the city of Prague. However, along the way we stopped at the city of Nuremberg. The city is as old as the other cities we visited, first mentioned in records in 1050. However, I have already spoken in length about old Roman and medieval cities, what makes this city stand is its more modern history, even though that history has roots in the past.

Suffice to say that what we now call Germany has seen three time periods of dominance. In Medieval times Nuremberg became the center of the Holy Roman Empire, or the first Reich. Then in the 19th Century Kiser Wilhelm unified Germany into a powerhouse or the Second Reich. Both movements were based in Bavaria with Nuremberg as the center. With the rise of Hitler and National Socialism (Nazis), Hitler understood he needed to make Nuremberg central in his Third Reich. The city is the center of the country, and its history held a special place to the Nazis. Starting in 1927 Hitler began holding his Nazi rallies at Nuremberg to draw more support for his party. Hitler took over in 1933 and in 1934 he held his most famous rally at Nuremberg which became the background to the movie Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will). This massive propaganda film was made by famous director Leni Riefenstahl and had a cast of over 700,000 soldiers. It is probably the most famous clip of Hitler as he is giving a speech as thousands of soldiers marched by. While the subject is evil, the film is considered a masterpiece as far as film making. You still see the structure where Hitler stood and spoke. Today they use the grounds for car races and concerts. Our Guide told the story of when Bob Dylan sang there. The stage was built opposite of Hitlers stage and supposedly Dylan said he was excited to play there because everyone in attendance would have to turn their backs to Hitler’s stage and watch a Jew.

If its possible to get even darker it was here that the infamous Nuremberg Laws were passed. These laws are what took away Jewish citizenship rights and put restrictions on them. It was ultimately where the “Final Solution” was created. After the war, it was also the home of the war crime trials. Pictured below is the courthouse where the trials are at as well as the SS barracks where they were housed during the war.

I also put in some pictures of the town. Even with its dark history it is a beautiful city. Its market square is picturesque and has a pretty statue in the center. It also has an intact wall from its medieval days. There is a picture below.

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