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Luitpoldhain - Nuremberg under the Nazis
Nuremberg, like Germans in general, doesn't make a big song and dance about its Nazi history and connections. While this is completely understandable, it makes it difficult for anyone genuinely interested in World War 2 history to find these reminders of significant events in our history. The Tourist Information office doesn't push these sights, and the only information you can get on them is in the rather anonymous sounding "Nuremberg 1933-1945" booklet, which you have to ask for.
In time I think the Germans will come to be able to live with this part of their past, but in the meantime I hope they don't knock down everything. William the Conqueror was an evil tyrant too, one who killed thousands of Anglo-Saxons in the north of England starving them into submission after invading the country in 1066. He pretty much created the class system in England by dividing it into the haves (the French speaking Normans) and the have-nots (the English speaking Anglo-Saxons). He has a lot to answer for, but it would be a crying shame if his successors had torn down all the Norman castles because of his crimes and because they stood as a symbol of his oppression of the people.
In Luitpoldhain there is a beautiful park, one that the SS used to gather for the infamous Nuremberg Rallies. It contains some of the most famous symbols of the Nazi era, including the gargantuan Kongressbau and the Zeppelinfeld from where Hitler made those unforgettable and terrifying speeches. I doubt you will find any signs pointing you to the park, at least none that mention its connection to the past. To get there grab tram number 9 to Luitpoldarena and walk across to your right to enter the park.
The Luitpold Grove
Luitpoldhain is a park which is across the road from the Congress Hall, in the south of Nuremburg. The park is named after the Bavarian Prince Regent Luitpold. It was used for the 1906 Bavarian State Exhibition and a large exhibition hall 180m by 50m was constructed, which was called the Luitpold Hall. After World War 1 a memorial was constructed in the park to commerate the 9,855 soldiers from Nuremburg that were killed during the war.The Nazis had already started to used the area for their parades but took the area over when the came to power in 1933. The Nazis remodelled the park to create an arena which could hold 150,000 and stands for 50,000. The Luitpold Hall which was to one side of the arena having the front altered to a monumantal style. The hall could hold 16,000 people and was the for running of the Congress Hall. The Nazis now used the arena for parades by the SS and SA, and the climax was to honour the dead. The Luitpold Hall was destroyed during an air raid on 29 August 1942 and was demolished after the war. The steps to the arena were removed and the area returned to a park. The war memorial still remains as do some of the terracing and you can stand on the opposite side of the park from the war memorial and observe the symmetry and size of the former arena.
There are still some reminders of the history of the city. Parade grounds and rally areas are still to be seen. Strange to see a place that's been on all the old films!
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