• Germany's news in English
 
Nuremberg 'must fix up Hitler's parade grounds'
Photo: DPA

Nuremberg 'must fix up Hitler's parade grounds'

Published: 30 Aug 2013 12:24 GMT+02:00

The enormous rally grounds, which once covered 11 square kilometres and hosted the Nazi Party rallies documented in Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda film Triumph of the Will, have been a headache for the city since the war ended.

Some parts of the huge complex have been used for other purposes, and there is now a new museum in one chunk of a building, but many bits are starting to fall apart, presenting dangers to the hundreds of thousands of people who go to see it each year.

In a report on Friday, the Süddeutsche Zeitung suggested that Nuremberg had to chose between three possible approaches to the complex - a product of Hitler's megalomania designed in part by his architect Albert Speer and never completed.

The first option would be to destroy it. But, the paper says, although some parts were blown up to make room for housing in the 1960s, much of the rest is legally protected.

Demolition would provoke outrage

In any case, Maly told the paper demolishing the remaining buildings would provoke international outrage.

The second option would be to completely abandon the buildings to the weather and the process of natural degradation. Many in the city have suggested this would be a powerful symbol of how an era was left behind, morally as well as a physically, the paper said. The crumbling remains of the mad constructions of an empire which was supposed to last a thousand years would be a stark message against such hubris.

Yet allowing the buildings to collapse would force the city to fence them in - to protect visitors from falling rubble. Much of the area would have to disappear from public access, and, suggested Maly, could become a scene of mystery again. Some parts are already fenced off.

Some renovation necessary

So the city has decided to renovate the buildings to a certain degree - although Maly said he did not like the word, as it sounded too much like restore. "We will not be looking for original-style sandstone," he said. The process would be one of maintenance and a slow transformation into a place of historical learning, he said.

The first tranche of €3 million has already been earmarked to examine part of the famous Zeppelin tribune, and one of the 24 towers along the ramparts. There is also the Golden Hall underneath the stone steps, where the mosaic ceiling needs attention, while the questions remain about how to deal with post-war additions such as graffiti left by Allied soldiers.

Petra Waldmann, technical head of the Nuremberg construction office, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that a survey would be conducted during the autumn and that by January it would be known how much the necessary work on the entire complex would cost.

Until now the rough estimate has always been €70 million, but a concrete sum would enable Nuremberg to approach national authorities for financial help. "This must be a national job, we cannot possibly take it all on alone," said Maly.

Around 200,000 visitors took part in official tours of the rally grounds last year, with probably hundreds of thousands more having a walk around on their own, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP
Edathy preparing to face questions in Berlin Photo: DPA

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP

A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal." READ  

This week in history
A Brandt name to relaunch a country
Willy Brandt being sworn into office in 1972 Photo: DPA

A Brandt name to relaunch a country

We know him as Willy Brandt - but that was just a pseudonym the former chancellor took to avoid the Nazis. READ  

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find
A similar bomb defused in Potsdam in September 2013. Photo: DPA

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find

Local authorities evacuated some 10,000 people from central Potsdam after an unexploded Second World War bomb was found on a building site. READ  

Sunny outlook for business this winter
Photo: DPA

Sunny outlook for business this winter

German business confidence rose in December on the back of falling oil prices and a weak euro, the Ifo economic institute said Thursday, as the prospects for Europe's biggest economy grew sunnier. READ  

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'
Photo: DPA

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Thursday that sanctions against Russia remain "unavoidable" until Ukraine regains its sovereignty and independence. READ  

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence
Photo: DPA

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence

Germany and Dortmund football star Marco Reus was hit by a €540,000 fine Thursday, after state prosecutors in Dortmund confirmed he has been driving for years without a licence. READ  

British and German troops relive Xmas truce
Soldiers in World War One period uniforms watch the football match. Photo: DPA

British and German troops relive Xmas truce

Teams from the British and German armies played a friendly football game in Aldershot on Wednesday in memory of the Christmas truce of 1914. READ  

Germany hails Obama's 'courage' over Cuba
Former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Photo: DPA

Germany hails Obama's 'courage' over Cuba

Berlin has welcomed the thaw in US-Cuban relations partly brokered in secret by Pope Francis at the Vatican. READ  

American guilty of killing Hamburg student
Diren Dede's grieving parents outside the court in Missoula Photo: DPA

American guilty of killing Hamburg student

A US court has found a man who shot and killed 17-year old German exchange student Diren Dede guilty of deliberate homicide. READ  

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016
Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016

After months of bickering among the coalition parties, the cabinet finally agreed to put a road toll for foreigners before parliament, but open questions about its financial viability and legality remain. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,173
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd