Nazi party rally grounds in Nurnberg.

16-07-2017

Since 1906 a park named “Luitpoldhain” , named after Luipold, Prince Regent of Bavaria Prinzregent Luitpold.jpg, existed here. During the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) the “Ehrenhalle” (Hall of Honour) was built in the park.

In 1933 Hitler replaced the park with a strictly-structured deployment area, the so-called “Luitpoldarena” with an area of 84,000 m².

During the party rallies, deployments of the SA and the SS with up to 150,000 people took place in this area. The central “relic” here was the “Blutfahne” (Blood flag), which was allegedly carried by the Beer Hall Putsch rebels and was soaked with the blood of one of them. At the “Blutfahnenweihe”  (Blood flag consecration), new “Standarten” (flags) of SA- and SS-units, carried by Jacob Grimminger were “consecrated” by touching their regimental flags with the “Blutfahne”.

After 1945 the city of Nuremberg redesigned the area into a park again. All buildings from the NS era were demolished. Only the half-round of the terraces of the main grandstand is recognizable.

The “Ehrenhalle” was built by the city of Nuremberg according to a plan of German architect Fritz Mayer. It was inaugurated in 1930, before the Hitler era during the Weimar Republic. It is an arcaded hall with an adjacent cobbled stone terrace with two rows of pedestals for fire bowls. All fourteen pylons remain virtually intact and have not been ignited since the final Nazi party rally in September 1938. Originally the hall was to be a memorial site for the 9,855 soldiers from Nuremberg who were fallen in World War I. During the Party Congress of 1929 the then unfinished “Hall of Honour” was used for the enactment of a cult of the dead by the National Socialists the first time. During the Third Reich the Nazis used the site primarily as a commemoration for the fallen soldiers of World War I and commemoration of the 16 dead of the “Hitlerputsch” (the so-called “Martyrs of the NS Movement”) (Beer Hall Putsch) on 9 November 1923 in Munich. Hitler, accompanied by SS-leader Heinrich Himmler and SA-leader Viktor Lutze,

   strode through the arena over the 240 meters long granite path from the main grandstand to the terrace of the Ehrenhalle and showed the Nazi salute there. The ritual was the climax of the celebration.

The 6th Party Congress was held in Nuremberg, September 5–10, 1934, which was attended by about 700,000 Nazi Party supporters. Initially it did not have a theme. Later it was labeled the “Rally of Unity and Strength” (Reichsparteitag der Einheit und Stärke), “Rally of Power” (Reichsparteitag der Macht), or “Rally of Will” (Reichsparteitag des Willens). The Leni Riefenstahl film Triumph des Willens  was made at this rally. This rally was particularly notable due to Albert Speer’s Cathedral of light: 152 searchlights that cast vertical beams into the sky around the Zeppelin Field to symbolise the walls of a building

Nazi rally in the Cathedral of Light c. 1937

Opposite the “Ehrenhalle” the crescent-shaped “Ehrentribüne” or main grandstand which measured 150 m (490 ft) long with 6 m (20 ft) gold eagles on each end was built. This structure, built by architect Albert Speer, could seat 500 dignitaries and represented the first permanent structure built by the Nazis in Nuremberg. The “Ehrenhalle” and the “Ehrentribüne” were connected by a wide granite path. The “Ehrentribüne” was blown up in 1959/60.

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