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Dokumentationszentrum

Friday I headed down to Nuremberg with Rui.

Nuremberg is one of those cities I’ve always associated with the end of World War II because of the trials held in the city.

Never having studies the rise of the Nazis that closely, I had not realized that Nuremberg had been especially selected for the trials to help generate a symbolic defeat of Hitler and the Germans for Nuremberg was where the Nazis built tremendous stadiums to host their massive rallies. The city was also where the laws depriving Jews of their citizenship were passed.

I wanted to see the courthouse.

Instead we first headed to the “Dokumentationszentrum,” which is a museum built into a corner of the Nazi built Kongresshalle. The Kongresshalle was never completed, but had it been completed it would have sat 50,000 people during rallies with Hitler at the focal point.

It was in this complex where the Nazi’s famous propaganda film, Triumph des Willens was made in 1934.

The museum was incredible.

We were there for two and a half hours, but I wasn’t aware of time.

It started at the beginning, the rise of Hitler, moved on to the passage of anti-Semitic laws, the design of the Nazi complex, the world view of the Nazi’s rise, the Holocaust, and, ultimately, the Nuremberg trial.

Considering that Nuremberg’s place in history is permanently stained by the Nazi Propaganda films, Nazi buildings that are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a trial, Nuremberg could have opted to hide as much of the history as they could have, but they did not.

The museum is incredibly well done. It was hypnotic, engaging, educational, and surprisingly honest.

When I reached the end of the museum, there was a platform overlooking what would have been the Kongresshalle’s seating arena. I walked through the glass door, out onto the platform, and felt the scope.

I felt small.

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