Last breakfast onboard our Viking ship. Departed on four buses to Nuremberg, snowing all the way. Picture to the left was from the bus window, the frosted panes and the winter landscape looked like an impressionistic painting by Corot or Sisley. We enjoyed a great tour guide in Sarah, a British lady with a wry sense of humor that helped on a snowy day crammed with a grim history mixed with a pleasant present and a robust future.
Nuremberg of the past included scientists, artists, composers, the building of castles and cathedrals, but today we focused on WWII.
When I think of Nuremberg, I think of the trials. Between 1945 and 1946, German officials involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity were brought before an international tribunal in the Nuremberg trials. The Soviet Union had wanted these trials to take place in Berlin. However, Nuremberg was chosen as the site for the trials for specific reasons: The city had been the location of the Nazi Party’s Nuremberg rallies and the laws stripping Jews of their citizenship were passed there. There was symbolic value in making it the place of Nazi demise. Another reason: The Palace of Justice was spacious and largely undamaged (one of the few that had remained largely intact despite extensive Allied bombing of Germany).
We made only one stop: a sports stadium commissioned by Hitler. Cold, so very cold. The site of Nuremberg held great significance during the Nazi Germany era. Because of the city’s relevance to the Holy Roman Empire and its position in the centre of Germany, the Nazi Party chose the city to be the site of huge Nazi Party conventions – the Nuremberg rallies. The rallies were held 1927, 1929 and annually 1933-1938 in Nuremberg. After Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 the Nuremberg rallies became huge Nazi propaganda events, a centre of Nazi ideals. After the American takeover, the Nazi insignia was blasted off the building shown to the left.
Rest of tour done inside the bus. Through icy windows, we did see where the trials were held, the prison, and parade grounds. Then we were dropped off at Christmas Markets. Very nice, lively, crowded, jolly, but mostly about food (oh the gingerbread!) and gluhwine. Eight Viking buses showed up that day from various cruises. We had lunch at an immense bratwurst restaurant. I had warm red cabbage, pretzel bread, and coffee. Just the ticket for our frozen fingers and toes.
One stop at a McDonalds restroom after crossing the Czech border. We had very nice lattes at the McCafe which made us all chipper.
Snowed off and on for the final leg of the trip. Cleared up just outside Prague, then started snowing again when we arrived at the Hilton at 5pm. After checking in, we had a nice dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Fish for me!
Glad to turn in early.