Nazi education in Nürnberg
Nuremberg was the next town we woke up in.
Honestly, I’m so not a fan of war museums or iconic war sites. I struggle with the horrific things that we as humans did to one another. I respect people and specifically Germans who feel the need to preserve the history as to not repeat them ..but honestly.. it’s so not my thing. It makes for a sad day… but I went and it definitely was an educational experience.
The town of Nürnberg, itself was the center of Nazi propaganda activities. This creeped me out!
We got on a bus and were brought to The Zeppelinfeld (in English: Zeppelin Field). It’s a massive open-air space where the Nazis held their annual party rallies from 1933 to 1938. The building is crumbling; grass and moss grow from the constantly expanding cracks. Various areas have had to be fenced off to preserve visitors’ safety. It was a really strange feeling being there while our guide showed us history photos of the rallies. What struck me the most is they were mainly children!
I was not aware how much the Nazis lured children into Hitler Youth by promising them camping trips and a spirit of comradeship. You’ve got to remember this was after WW1 and there was terrible poverty and unemployment. The Hitler Youth and the BDM made many promises for these impressionable followers.
Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally
After the rally fields we were brought to the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. It is in the north wing of the unfinished remains of the Congress Hall of the former Nazi party rallies. Its permanent exhibition “Fascination and Terror” is concerned with the causes, connections, and consequences of Nazi Germany.
Justice – Nuremberg trials museum
To end the day we were brought to Nuremberg trials museum. This is where leaders of the Nazi regime had to answer for their crimes before an International Military Tribunal between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1946.
Driving around Nürnberg I saw sections of a city bombed and built up right next to each other. By looking at the architecture you can see that one side of the road is modern buildings while directly across the street are traditional Bavarian buildings which just missed being bombed by the US. We also learned a lot about Hitler’s architect Albert Speer. Hitler instructed him to design and construct structures. These are very noticeably a different style of architecture not seen anywhere else. (look at the right image above of the Documentation Center of Nazi Party Rally Grounds)
At the Nuremberg trials museum we sat in the actual trial room. The choice of the city of Nuremberg was symbolic as the Nazis had held large Nuremberg Rallies in the city, so that as Nuremberg could have been thought of as a sort of birthplace for the Nazi Party, it would also be where the Party met its end. The courtroom is still used, especially for murder trials. Judges from the Allied powers—Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States—presided over the hearings of twenty-two major Nazi criminals. Twelve prominent Nazis were sentenced to death. And it is said that Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in the spring of 1945 to avoid capture. (or many speculate he escaped to Argentina, where the Nazis were supported by future president Juan Perón, who, with his wife “Evita”, had been receiving money from the Nazis for some time.)
Thankfully it was time to get back to the boat for dinner and a 70’s dance night! Much needed after such a heavy and emotional day.
It was so easy to sleep on the Uniworld River cruise! You definitely feel the movement of the boat to each new town but it’s so quiet and calm. Plus, the beds are so comfortable!
Goodnight.. tomorrow is our last day!
Kelheim Biergarten Festival
Our last stop was a quaint town in Bavaria called, Kelheim located about 70 miles north of Munich. I was so excited because we were about to experience a proper – beer festival with numerous Beer gardens! German Biergarten originated in Munich, the capital of the German state of Bavaria! There were many places where you can sit at long tables with friends and soon to be friends drinking large steins of beer that you can barley pick up when full of yummy German beer! The pretzels were bigger than your head, German candy, brats, colorful tents and some classic carnival rides. They still have big elaborate haunted houses and rides! It was so much fun to experience! I will definitely plan a trip to Munich for Octoberfest for sure!
Lots of attendees were dressed up in traditional outfits too. Women wear traditional dirndl (DEERN-dul) dresses while men wear leather lederhosen (LAY-der-hozen) shorts.
Final Night Tattoo Competition
Our final evening on this amazing Tattoo themed German U River Cruise was a tattoo competition. Everyone who was tattooed during our trip entered. This included guests of the boat and quite a bit of the staff. it was a fun, light competition of Reese Hilburn’s and Steven Tefft’s finished tattoos during our adventure. This was an exceptional time exploring Bavaria and one of the most bonding experiences I’ve had so far! I’m so excited for more tattoo themed travel and to meet incredible people from around the world as we share adventures together!
The trip continues … Reese, Jackie and I are off to Prague for a few days. Then we meet up with Loz and Vanessa in Berlin before flying up to Copenhagen to attend 50 Shades Ink Denmark tattoo convention.