Tracing German history at Nuremberg

November 14, 2013 9:36 am
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The U shaped unfinished building with brown bricks was designed and constructed to host 50,000 people attending Hitler's rallies. By then it was referred to as the Congress Hall. Photo/ JUDIE KABERIA
The U shaped unfinished building with brown bricks was designed and constructed to host 50,000 people attending Hitler’s rallies. By then it was referred to as the Congress Hall. Photo/ JUDIE KABERIA

, NUREMBERG, Germany, Nov 14 – Nuremberg is a historic city which, through its many buildings and monuments, showcases Germany’s road to World War II; its journey of recovery after the war and lessons learnt from it.

This city attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, with Germans themselves being the leading tourists as they flock the historic sites in big numbers to learn about their past.

The war happened many decades ago, but old buildings have been maintained and protected to preserve Germany’s culture, history and educate the world.

Before World War II, Nuremberg was a very entrepreneurial city that attracted leading businessmen and merchants.

However, National Socialists through the leadership of Nazi icon, Adolf Hitler converted it to a city of rallies. Hitler used the city to hold big rallies in which he encouraged racism through acute propaganda.

In old video clips that are well preserved in museums, Hitler can be seen and heard shouting and making his infamous salute. Today it is illegal to make Hitler’s salute in Germany.

Despite his short stature, Hitler’s rough, authoritative and loud voice in fluent German can still be heard freshly from the audio recordings. An old radio used by guards who were protecting Germans during the war is still preserved in a building which was used as a beer cellar but was converted into a safe shelter during the war.

“The 45 million Germans hidden in the building used to drink wine after they realised that they were falling sick after drinking water which was contaminated by bacteria. Children were also given a bottle of wine to quench their thirst,” the guard at the old building explained.

Though some of the events took place in the 1930s and 1940s, Germans have to date managed to preserve this history to tell their story of misery during the war, the trials of the key perpetrators and their road to recovery after the shameful role that the Germans played in the massacre of six million Jews.

Due to the sad history, it has taken Germans very many years to display their national flags due to the shame and guilt of what happened in their country. Most importantly they owned up to the actions of their country, dealt with it and in fact they do not blame any individuals but view it as a cross that the entire country has to carry.

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