If World War II interests you, and Nuremberg, Germany is on your list to visit, you will not be disappointed in what the city has to offer for a history nerd.
In the 1930’s, the Nazi party held rallies in the city of Nuremberg. The large field where these rallies were held is still there. The Congress Hall has been transformed into the Documentation Center, a museum with an exhibit about the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. You can easily access both sites from the city center via public transportation or a taxi.
The Documentation Center
The Documentation Center’s exhibit was good. The visitor will take a walk through the building, tracing the beginnings of the Nazi Party and Hitler’s rise to power. There is a great deal of material in the museum and you should allow a couple of hours to see everything. If you have not seen other exhibits about this subject, it’s very good. There was a great deal of information presented, but nothing I hadn’t heard before.
A short walk from the Documentation Center is Zeppelin Field. I cannot express how sobering it is to see the actual field and structure from Hitler’s huge Nuremberg rally. There really are no words to express what it feels like to visit this location.
Nuremberg Trial Museum
An additional World War II site you can visit in Nuremberg is the Nuremberg Trial Museum. This is the site of the courtroom where the Allies put the Nazi leaders that were captured on trial for crimes against humanity. I found this definitely worth a visit. The exhibit takes the visitors through the logistics and details of the trials with a great deal of memorabilia. A visitor can see everything from two benches the accused sat on to documents and photographs. The benches were purposefully made uncomfortable for those on trial. This was meant to be a sort of “slap in the face” to those who had been such VIPs in the Third Reich.
Additionally, there is an evidence box, used to transport pieces of evidence for the trial.
The tour concludes with an opportunity to sit in the actual courtroom where the trials took place. This was amazing – and sobering. Even though the Germans have altered much of the room and it does not look like what it looked like in 1946, you can still feel how history happened there. The past weighs heavy in this room. The marble surrounding the doors and the windows remains intact.
Those Who Do Not Learn History……
When I visited these sites in Nuremberg, I was overcome with what happened here. It was a reminder to not stand silent when bad things are happening around you. Thankfully, many Nazis were held accountable to the evils they perpetrated. Justice was served but could not bring back the millions who had suffered at their hands. Visiting sites like these keeps the injustice alive so hopefully we will never repeat them.