Nuremberg: Nazi Documentation Center

Immediately after our visit to Martin Behaim Gymnasium, the Roundtable had an opportunity to visit the Nuremberg Documentation Center, a sobering history of the growth of what historian Hannah Arendt once called the “banality of evil” under the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler. Despite the recent re-emergence of right wing, neo-Nazi groups in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe), Germany seems to be dealing with this shocking history in a forthright way.

The center abuts the old Nuremberg rally grounds, memorial grounds, memorialized in Leni Riefenstahl’s movie, “Triumph of the Will.” The rallies were designed to solidify the cult of Hitler and make the Fuehrer synonymous with Germany itself.

Nuremberg Rally

The documentation center traces the history of the growth of fascism in Germany and describes how Hitler used democratic methods to seize control of the nation during a period of economic stagnation and rampant inflations.

Nuremberg Documentation Center

The documentation center highlights:

Nov
192 3
Munich “beer hall putsch.” Attempted coup. Hitler jailed. Writes “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle).
July 1932 Nazi party gained 37.4% of the vote in the Reichstag elections.
Jan
1933
Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg
Feb
1933
The Reichstag Fire. Fire destroys German parliament. Nazis blame on Communists.
March 1933 Enabling Act gives Hitler power to make laws for four years
without consulting Reichstag.
April
1933
The Gestapo, Nazi secret police, formed. Nazis take over local government.
May
1933
Trade Unions banned
May
1933
25,000 ‘un-German’ burned, encouraged by Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda.
July
1933
All political parties except the Nazis were banned
Sept
1935
Nuremburg Laws defined German citizenship. Relationships between Jews and Aryans banned.
March
1936
Hitler sent German troops to re-occupy the Rhineland, a move that violates Versailles Treaty ending World War I.
March
1938
Hitler seizes Austria, his homeland, claiming to re-united the
Germans in Austria with those in Germany (Anschluss).
Sept
1938
Munich Agreement – Allies agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in return for peace
Nov
1938
Kristallnacht – Jewish shops and synagogues destroyed.
March
1939
Hitler occupies Czechoslovakia, and ignores Munich
Agreement
August
1939
Nazi-Soviet Pact – Alliance between Hitler and Stalin
agrees to divide Poland between the two countries.
January
1942
Wannsee Conference approved plans for the ‘Final Solution’.
1942-1945Six million Jews and other undesirables murdered in
concentration camps
April
1945
Hitler commits suicide
May 7
1945
Armistice ends Allies war with Germany, with hostilities to cease
on May 8.
The documentation center is located in the buildings beside the lake; the Nuremberg ralies were held in the stadium attached to the center.


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