Nürnberg's Nazi Sights
The sights associated with the Nazis are not within walking distance from the old town but can be reached easily by public transportation. The parade ground of the Nazi rallies is southeast of the old town and the court of the Nürnberg trials is to the west.
It is best to start a visit to the Reichsparteigelände (Nazi Party Rallying Ground) with a visit to the documentation center. The area is large and will help to explain the background and the lay of the land. (Signposting was limited at the time of writing but there were plans to improve it in time for the 2006 SoccerWorld Cup.) Three major structures survive to the present: the Congress Hall, the Great Road, and the Zeppelin Tribune.
The massive Kongreßhalle (Congress Hall) was designed to accommodate 50,000 delegates. It was never completed but the parts that were, were built “to last a thousand years.” Nürnberg is now stuck with the building. Demolishing it would be expensive and the whole area is now under protection order. Most of the building is currently a storage warehouse, but it also houses the interesting Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände (Documentation Center Nazi Party Rallying Grounds), Bayernstraße 110. The center has an excellent permanent exhibition entitled Fascination and Terror, which uses photos, models, audio, and video to explain the Nazi regime, with special emphasis on the events surrounding the Party Rallies.
The area and buildings are surprisingly large and it takes a good 15 minutes to walk around the Kongreßhalle to the Große Straße (Great Road). This road – two km (1.2 miles) long and 60m(198 feet) wide – was to have been the central axis of the monumental area. It is paved with 60,000 slabs of granite. Immediately after the war, the American forces used it as a landing strip and currently most of it serves as a good-looking parking lot for the nearby conference center and soccer field.
Walk down the Great Road and turn left once you’re across the Dutzenteich pond to reach the 300-m (990-foot) Zeppelin Tribune. Although the columns along the top of the main tribune were destroyed for safety reasons in 1967, the tribune is still instantly recognizable as the place from where Hitler addressed the party faithful. The main and side tribunes provided seating for 60,000, while the field could hold another 100,000. The field is fenced off but the tribune is open and freely accessible.
The Nuremberg Trials
The famous Nuremberg Trials took place from November 20, 1945 and continued for 218 days. In the dock were 21 top Nazi officials; 12 received the death sentence and were executed on October 16, 1946. Hermann Göring cheated the hangman by committing suicide hours before. Proceedings took place in the Schwurgerichtssaal 600 - Nürnberger Prozesse (International Military Tribunal, Landgericht Nürnberg-Fürth/ Schwurgerichtssaal, Fürther Straße 110. The court is still in use.
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