Nuremberg To Debate Use Of Former Nazi Sites

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

November 30, 2021

NUREMBERG — A proposal to temporarily transfer Nuremburg’s opera theater to two former Nazi era buildings in Nuremberg, including the party’s gathering grounds, is drawing fierce criticism.

According to German media, a temporary site for concerts is required because the opera house requires extensive repairs that are projected to take several years.

The Staatstheater Nurnberg, founded in 1905 and one of four Bavarian state theaters, asserted in an open letter on Friday that there are no alternatives to either the Nazi rally grounds (Reichsparteitagsgelände) or the city’s abandoned Nazi Congress Hall (Die Kongresshalle).  They expressed confidence in their ability to provide historical context for the location in a current manner.

According to the Staatstheater Nurnberg, the 125 ft high ruins of the Nazi Congress Hall and its vast courtyard would make a perfect temporary site.  The structure was originally designed to hold 50,000 people.

The ‘History for All’ association, on the other hand, protested the proposed shift over the weekend, citing the obvious hazards to teachings on Nazi philosophy and propaganda being jeopardized.  In an open letter published on Sunday, the historical organization warned that exhibiting visitors the authentic façade of Nazi facilities could highlight “fascist megalomania.”

The Nazi Party controlled Germany from 1933 to 1945 and is known to have caused the death of 11 million people with some estimates reaching 20 million.  Nuremberg would become famous for Nazi rallies during the late 1920s until the mid-1940s. 

From 1945 to 1946, Nuremberg would be the site of the Nuremberg Trials conducted under an international military tribunal by the Allied Powers.  Many convicted Nazi officials and military leaders would be executed or imprisoned for their crimes.

The city council in Nuremberg will make a decision on the location next month.  According to a Nuremberg spokesman, the property transfer could not be postponed because the opera’s operational license is slated to expire in 2025 and will not be renewed until renovations are finished.