• Germany's news in English
 

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
Constitutional Court allows 'FCK CPS' sticker

Constitutional Court allows 'FCK CPS' sticker

The Constitutional Court decided on Tuesday that it is within someone's right to freedom of expression to wear the FCK CPS logo, but only if the insult is aimed at police in general. READ  

Germany's 'other genocide' in Namibia
Protests in 2014 about the recognition of the Herero genocide. Photo: DPA

Germany's 'other genocide' in Namibia

Between 1904 and 1907 German colonial rulers in Namibia attempted to exterminate a whole section of the native population, in another horrific chapter of history campaigners are calling on the country to face up to. READ  

Nepal earthquake
At least one German confirmed dead in Nepal
Search and rescue efforts are ongoing in Nepal. Photo:DPA

At least one German confirmed dead in Nepal

The Foreign Ministry confirmed to The Local on Tuesday that one German citizen was killed in the earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday. READ  

Germany may have 10m fewer people by 2060
Photo: DPA

Germany may have 10m fewer people by 2060

If low birth rates and high death rates continue as they are now, a major decline in Germany’s population is “inevitable,” the federal statistics office (Destatis) reported on Tuesday. READ  

Opinion
Germany should fear Brexit more than Grexit
British Pime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on EU membership. Photo: DPA

Germany should fear Brexit more than Grexit

With all European – and especially German – eyes on Greece, Michael Wohlgemuth asks why the EU isn't more worried about a British exit from the Union. READ  

Police shoot man dead in Rhineland-Palatinate
Photo: DPA

Police shoot man dead in Rhineland-Palatinate

A 40-year-old man died in hospital in Grünstadt, Rhineland Palatinate after being shot by police on Monday evening. READ  

Daimler hit with Greek corruption charges
German soldiers in a 'Unimog' truck made by Daimler. Photo: DPA

Daimler hit with Greek corruption charges

Greek prosecutors announced on Monday they are bringing charges against several Daimler managers, who they say were involved in multi-million euro bribes to Greek authorities. READ  

Germany's surrender order under the hammer
Admiral Dönitz (m) with Albert Speer (l) and General Alfred Jodl (r). Photo: DPA

Germany's surrender order under the hammer

Marooned on a naval base in northwest Germany, pinned down by advancing Allied forces and Adolf Hitler dead, the last leader of the Third Reich hammered out the surrender order. READ  

Merkel not yet 'Mutti' of the Twittersphere
Photo: DPA

Merkel not yet 'Mutti' of the Twittersphere

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the only G7 leader not to have a Twitter account, according to a report on the social network released on Tuesday. READ  

Kindergarten wage negotiations fail
Photo: DPA

Kindergarten wage negotiations fail

The public services union Ver.di announced on Monday evening that negotiations over a pay increase for Kindergarten teachers had failed. Strikes will start at the end of next week and go on for an indefinite period. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
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

7,215
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>