Friday, November 04, 2005


Yesterday morning I left the hotel and went directly to the tram station and bought a ticket to Zaum-Centrum, the stop at the old Nazi rally yards 15 minutes from the center of town. The documentary Museum at the rally grounds is housed in the old outdoor congress hall. The congress hall was originally designed like an outdoor coliseum that could accommodate 50,000. But, it was never fully completed, in 1999 began to house the museum. Interestingly, an enormous glass and metal point sticks out 100 feet from the entrance. It has speared this former physical center of the Nazi Party through the heart.

Most of the rally yards were never completed, but the plans were massive. A stadium for 450,000 people, 2 sport complexes, a Zepplinfield, Even housing! In 1936, Nuremberg (a city of 440,000) hosted over 1 million socialist party (and sympathetic other parties) members at the yearly rally. The film clips from that September show the city overflowing with soldiers and families. Therefore the rally yards had strips of semi permanent tents and housing and enormous kitchens and beer gardens to feed all the members of the party. Even though Germany was handling the global depression differently from America, there were still images of party members standing in lines for soup (a similar look to the American images produced at the same time.)

So after the museum, I walked down the old parade lane (where the Nazi’s marched) and I sat at the Zeppelin field and wrote postcards to family members. There are no guards or groundskeepers keeping the public from going into the seats. And the place has been neglected. Gum and cigarette butts and cracks and grass and graffiti cover the old place. There was a fellow with a tennis racket hitting a ball against the tall, cold, stern, rear wall. It’s as if the current German citizens know that caring for it could be interpreted as sympathy for the ideas it symbolizes.

I went back to the city and walked through the old castle on the way to Hochstrasse 12, Oma’s first address. Now it’s a parking garage. I couldn’t find Tiergarten Street, and when I asked at (not one but two!) Tourist offices, they were not helpful, only guiding me toward tiergarten square (of which there is no #48).

Last night Phillip met me and took me to classic Bavarian dinner. I’ve eaten 14 sausages in the last 24 hours. They have these special white ones that look like Jones (the American brand with the little log cabin on the front) but they taste a lot better. I also had 2 slices from different loaves of meat (one had chunks of carrot) the other had lots of green herb (parsley I think). They also have these tasty fresh baked pretzels that you can buy on the street for .45-euro cents. Oh yeah, and I had hot strudel with lots of whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. It was drizzled with chocolate too.


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