An Alien in America

An alien's perspective on life and everything else

History Lesson

Posted by nickxyz on March 25, 2008

Well, I am history buff. Always have been, even in school. Especially that part of German history that still causes a bunch of people great heartburn and anxiety for various reasons. I have always been interested in a less researched aspect of the bigger picture. That being any kind of resistance movements, political, religious, unionized, military, ethical, etc…. Particularly of the natives, the ones that risked life and limbs not only their own, but also their immediate families and relatives (ever heard of ‘Sippenhaft’, a popular legal (originally ancient) method at the time). Of course, resistance also originated in other countries, be it Germans in exil, or foreign natives of all color and faiths because they saw the evil and the incredibly destructive force. One of the most impressive acts of courage and perseverance in terms of resistance was found within the group of victims themselves as well. This gives the saying of ‘Hope dies last’ a completely different meaning.

The other historical interest of mine is the architectural concepts that had been envisioned and partly already put in motion. When reviewing old documents and blueprints, the intended scale of these plans almost always escapes the viewer and is even harder to comprehend in their entirety. In order to get a better grasp of the enormous dimensions and the work that these buildings and sites would have required, I wanted to see what is left myself.

Of all the architectural plans that still exist today of the various cities, master sites and propaganda buildings, really only two sites had experienced actual work being done. One being Linz (Austria), which is also the only site that still progressed at insane speeds even during the war efforts. The other being Nuremberg. There, the party had established the main party rally grounds, intended for annual political and show events for centuries to come. The underlying blueprint is available from various sources, most notably at the Nuremberg Dokumentations Center.

While not all planned buildings still exist today, two actually do (and one road). The first is called ‘Zeppelinfeld’, which had actually already been used for the annual party rallies and military show presentations. The second is the ‘Kongresshalle’, which is about 50% complete. It is an enourmous oval shaped building designed like the Roman collosseum. The one big difference being that it was intended to also have a roof over the entire structure.

The foundations and the exterior walls have been completed, yet the work stopped halfway during the construction of the inner walls and assemblies; the planned roof has not even been started. Today, the huge structure is used for various purposes, such as housing a symphonie (accoustics are marvellous once one stands inside at ground level), city storage and most importantly, home of the Dokumentation Center. The Great Road (2 km long, 60 meters wide) was intended as the main connector within the party rally grounds and also as a symbolic link between the past and the planned present / future. Today, it is used as parking lot during major events in the adjacent Frankenstadion.

Here a few of my impressions while walking the grounds recently. It still makes the hair at the back of your neck stand up and goosebumps appear within seconds. Architecturally, a great feat, but an immensly frightening site in every other possible aspect.

Zeppelinfeld – Impressions:

Zeppelinfeld - Speakers post Zeppelinfeld - Speaker\'s Post Dimensions (check out the cars)

Zeppelinfeld - Posts lining the sides (used to carry the search lights)

Kongresshalle – Impressions

Kongresshalle - Modell The Kongresshalle

The Kongresshalle Inside the Kongresshalle

Great Road – Impressions

Great Road

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2 Responses to “History Lesson”

  1. bea said

    Irgendwann komm ich auch zurück… Wie ist das Einleben in die Arbeitswelt? Vermisst du the good old US?

    LG

    Bea

  2. nickxyz said

    Gewoehnungsbeduerftig 🙂

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