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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Day 12, April 2, Nuremberg, Germany

As we considered booking this trip back in January of 2014, Nuremberg was a stop on the adventure.  It would be about the trials, etc., after WWII along with some scenery.  Neither of our minds recalled the fact that this was the Nazi party's rally location in 1923.  Ten years later Nuremberg parade grounds served as the location for the Nazi Rally for 5 years straight.  It was the sight where several of Hitler's propaganda speeches were filmed.

How would an ancient  city that had once served as an unofficial seat of the Holy Roman Empire remove this black spot from its history?  The city is accepting it.  The schools teach of the heinous crimes of the Nazi party.  The Rally  Grounds are left in the ruins and unfinished state that the end of WWII left them.

It was creepy to sit in the bus at the rally grounds and think of the minds filled with hate.  To think of how easily swayed we humans can be by a megalomaniac's voice.  How easy it is for non believers to just stand by and let it happen.  We say never again only to watch a new generation fall victim to that siren voice of hate.

We drove by the SS barracks that is now a migration processing center.  The Palace of Justice where the war crimes of the Nazis were held.

This city with its Imperial Palace fortress  and surrounding central city that had never been penetrated by an invading force until the bombings of WWII was about 90% destroyed.  According to the guide, only one complete house was standing undamaged within the city wall after the Allied one hour bombing strike.

I was standing in the area of the right side of the bombed out city below for this composite.

The proud old city center has been rebuilt with the flavor of the original old city by using the original stones when possible.  One of the other folks wondered aloud why would they want to spend so much money to rebuild as it was before.  My answer was what if the 9-11 plane had reached the White House or Congress would we want to have built something different or replicate our heritage?  She responded that now it made sense.  Sometimes we just need to walk in the other person's shoes the best we can.

Our guide had us imagine trying to capture the fortress as we walked across the bridge and up a jack leg ramp.  He tells us all the ways we would be hampered, beaten, or killed.  If we make it to the next area we will have hot oil, trash and sewage dumped on us along with rocks and arrows.  We will now be either dead or captured 'cause this place was never overtaken.
The different color of rock on the wall is
where new rock had to be used after
the bombings of 1944 and 1945.

We are inside the walls and well protected by the many watchtowers used to sight the enemy.  But us old tourists are far more interested in the nearest WC!  It is housed in the courtyard of the Imperial Castle.  Four stalls for the women which are lined half way down the hill.  Once all bladders are relieved we head downhill.  For me it is a slow descent as it is quite steep.... and more cobblestones.

The Old City is beautiful and interesting even though some folks say it is little more than a Disney Nuremberg, not being original.  There was still a feeling of the old.

A feeling of what it was like in this city before Hitler, before Nazi rallies, before the bombs and genocide.  Just a city started at the intersection of water trade routes.  Of course these were a couple of purges of the Jewish community as the they were charged with crimes.  The first was desecrating the host in 1298.  The second in 1300's as the Jewish community was accused of causing the plague.  A pogrom decimated the Jewish population. A marketplace was built over the former Jewish quarter.  The tour guide did not talk about those purges......

The churches are rebuilt.
A market if full of flowers, food, fresh vegetables and all sorts of vendors.

So I move on through the old city.  I finally find my husband and we head back to the long ship.  Tired legs and a swollen knee calling for a little down time.  Before dinner we enjoy watching the waves on the river as we sail away from the city that was only captured once....

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