The One with the Nazi Party Documentation Center and Rally Grounds

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Even just looking through these pictures and doing research about this place gives me a big knot in my stomach. I don't think there's any way I'll ever be able to go to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland even though it's just a six hour drive away... We really need to though. It's just one of those places one must go.

Anyway, it was Chris's turn to pick what we were going to do today and he chose to go to the Nazi Party Documentation Center and Rally Grounds in Nuremberg.
To this day, in Nuremberg's southern districts, the remains of the buildings on the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds with their immense proportions are a vivid testimony to the megalomania of the National Socialist regime. This area of seven square miles was intended as an impressive backdrop for the Nazi party rallies staged here to demonstrate their power. 
Even though the museum is dark and makes me feel icky, the trees outside are glorious to behold. So I paired these two pics together as a sort of juxtaposition.
 With its "glass and steel arrow" piercing the north wing, the Documentation Centre is a widely visible architectural counterpoint.

On 1,300 square meters, the permanent exhibition "Fascination and Terror" looks at the causes, the context, and the consequences of the National Socialist reign of terror. It focuses on the topics which have a direct link to Nuremberg, and is centered on 19 exhibition areas which are structured in chronological order: the history of the party rallies, the buildings of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the "Nuremberg Racial Laws" of 1935, the "Nuremberg Trials" of the main perpetrators of Nazi crimes in 1945/46 and the twelve follow-up trials, as well as the difficult problem of dealing with the National Socialists' architectural heritage after 1945.
We arrived around 11am. The building is so old, but the museum has many very modern aspects. Here is the cafe.
Original brick walls.
We sat down and watched a video for a couple of minutes which showed a couple of skateboarders riding around all these Nazi places and then it would flash back to how it was in the Nazi era. It was kind of weird, why skateboarders? A lot of it was focused on their cool moves. But it was interesting to see how the buildings looked back then.
Looking down to the ground below. Talk about vertigo!
Nazi rally.
The rally area was so big, I couldn't get it all in my lens, I had to take three shots and piece it together.
Note to self: Get a wide-angle lens.
Seeings pictures of this massive area filled with Nazis is so... disturbing?
Aerial view of the rally grounds. The Documentation Center is located in the north wing, built around a rectangular courtyard.

I felt really bad because I wasn't particularly excited about going here and my attitude was stinky and then the kids were really really bad and it was super crowded and we only stayed in the museum for about 15 minutes before Chris called it quits. I felt bad because Chris was so excited about it. We handed in our audio guides and took a walk outside.
Fox wanted to go in a boat so badly.
Definitely feels like fall here!
Crazy Jane. Hates her stroller. Must always be held. Or rather, she wants to crawl around. But how can we stay mad at this face?
I hope we can get a sitter sometime and go back and really appreciate the museum for all it is because one could literally spend all day there learning a lot.

Quick trip, interesting place, hope to go back.


  1. What a crazy place. Sorry you didn't get to stay longer/learn more. Doesn't it make you feel grateful for your amazing and blessed life?

  2. Looks really interesting.
    I visited Auschwitz when I was in highschool, and it's just one of these places that you can't really understand what you see, what you feel, what actually happened there, and how people can so easily turn into monsters. There's actually not a lot left there (unlike Majdanek, where everything stayed intact).

    Germany (and Austria, where I live) have this crazy combination of great things and the most horrible you could imagine. How things changed here in just 70 years. Hard to grasp.

  3. Yeah, I wish we could have stayed longer. Oh well. I should have known the kids wouldn't go for it.


Paige Taylor Evans © // Quinn Creatives DESIGN