What do you do with the remains of historical sites that you don’t want to remember? That’s what the German people are dealing with these days as remnants of Nazi sites fall into ruin. Do you get rid of them? They are such a reminder of a horrible time in the history of these people. Or do you repair them and keep them as historical sites…as a reminder that you NEVER want to allow Germany to get sucked in by a Hitler again.
That’s the problem Nuremburg is having. Nuremburg was the site of the Nazi rallies (remember all the shows that had Hitler on the reviewing stand and the thousands of soldiers or Hitler youth marching on the field?) It also has an unfinished building that was to be the place Hitler gave a speech once a year (they built a building for a once a year speech????) And, of course, it has the courthouse where the famous Nuremburg trials were held.
Jerry and I went on the optional World War II tour which gave a more in depth explanation of the Nazi rise to power and the trial after World War II. It was fascinating and horrifying…and so easy to understand how Hitler systematically took over a country that was ripe for the taking.
We went into the courtroom (room 600) where the trial was held. It’s still being used but since it was Sunday there weren’t any trials going on and we could go in. Nuremburg was the site of the trials for several reasons. First, it was fairly central (in Germany), next the city had been a big symbol of Nazi power and finally, very pragmatically, there was a prison connected to the courthouse. That would make it much safer for transporting prisoners each day to the courtroom without worrying about escapes or assassinations.
I’m not going to say more. It just terrified me how easy it was for Hitler to gave complete control of Germany. And, as one woman in her eighties who was on the tour said, it made her realize even more that no matter how much you hate politics, you HAVE to stay involved.
Jerry and I stayed in town for the afternoon…had lunch at a local restaurant and wandered around visiting (you guessed it) a castle and two churches AND a toy museum.
It was a long day but a good day. They’re ALL good…lucky us.