• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Nuremberg 'must fix up Hitler's parade grounds'

The Local · 30 Aug 2013, 12:24

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.

Story continues below…

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
Germany says 'won't let anyone take Europe from us'
Steinmeier called the European Union “a successful project of peace and stability”. Photo: DPA

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday that the EU would weather the shock of the British vote to leave the union as he convened crisis talks.

Brexit vote
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
A sign in Berlin's tech giant and startup-building company Rocket Internet. Photo: DPA.

London is currently thought of as the main hub for startups in Europe, but that will all turn around when the UK leaves the EU, tech industry experts say.

Brexit vote - Analysis
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
British Leave campaigners celebrate Brexit result. Photo: DPA

Britain leaving the EU means trouble ahead for Germany - and its hardest task will be convincing the Brits to drop a self-defeating ideology, a leading foreign policy expert told The Local.

How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Photo: DPA.

Considering a change of passport after the UK's vote to ditch the EU? Here’s how to do it.

Germany makes fracking verboten
A sign in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA.

German lawmakers approved a law that essentially bans fracking, ending years of dispute over the controversial technology to release oil and gas locked deep underground.

Brexit vote
German far right 'cries for joy' after UK votes to leave EU
Left to right: AfD's Beatrix von Storch and Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

The far-right AfD party called for a "new Europe" and the resignation of the EU's top two politicians in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Brexit vote
Merkel: Brexit has cut into European unity
Angela Merkel at a press conference after the Brexit vote on Friday. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that the UK's decision to leave the EU has created a "cut in Europe" and the project of European unity.

Couple copulating on bridge shut down Autobahn
Kaiserlei Bridge in Frankfurt. Photo: Dontworry / Wikimedia Commons.

It was a highly unusual choice of location for a romantic rendezvous, police in Frankfurt point out.

Brexit vote
Germany: Brexit vote is a 'sad day for Europe'
A British flag along with other flags of European Union member countries flies in front of the European Council building in Strasbourg, France. Photo: EPA.

Top German leaders declared that it was a "sad day for Europe" after British voters opted to leave the European Union.

Viernheim hostage-taker wasn't carrying lethal weapon
A police officer stands guard in front of the cinema in Viernheim. Photo: DPA

The 19-year-old German man who took over a dozen people hostage in a cinema in western Germany on Thursday was carrying replica weapons, prosecutors have confirmed.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Gallery
7 photos which show the aftermath of Bavaria's Autobahn bridge collapse
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Bayer's Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
7,902
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd