Nuremberg, Germany - It’s a lot of firsts for me today: my first time in Nuremberg, first time in Germany, first time in a different time zone since I was 6, and yes, my very first time in Europe. This’ll be a day that I’ll be looking back at for a long time coming, especially since it did not disappoint.
The long bus ride from Frankfurt to Nuremberg acted as an introduction to what could be the gist of European culture: spacious fields, cleanliness, spots of sun and spots of clouds, wind and solar farms, and hamlets, one after another.
The air is certainly cleaner than it is in Guangzhou, or any large Asian city for that matter. The atmosphere is warmer (not literally, quite the opposite actually) and inviting, at least for me.
After settling in our hotel, we went out to a field nested in a bowl surrounded by hills. It’s situated where Nazi rally parties would occur during Hitler’s regime. Nearby was a supposed coliseum for the Nazis turned into a museum about the ascension and destruction of the regime, as well as the facilities of the Nazis in Nuremberg.
It was unsettling to picture the magnitude of it all. One room had a panoramic photograph of a rally party, with Hitler at the helm. I couldn’t believe how little the people were compared to how large the photograph was. Another displayed typewritten documents, books, and even film reels which caught my interest in particular.
Towards the end was a balcony that put me right in the middle of the where the coliseum could’ve been, surrounding me with threatening brick walls that actually could’ve reached greater heights had Hitler’s plans with the facility followed through.
It was actually by the end of our visit to the coliseum when I realised what made the Nazi regime so powerful and so unique. Everything was deliberately planned and executed. It wasn’t mindless violence, it was intelligent, it was completely conscious.
The halls surrounding the unfinished coliseum had large doors that belittled anyone who entered. They were constructed like the insides of cathedrals, to encourage people to worship the one being Hitler thought deserved it: himself. The coliseum was made out of bricks, yet stylised into marble to let the building exude grandeur it wouldn’t have had otherwise. All this was psychologically accomplished by the deceitful minds of the Nazis of course, but it was physically accomplished by the Jews, forced into labour even to their deaths. Everything they did was interconnected and completely deliberate.
While it should’ve explained a lot, it only left me confused as purely blind intentions were clearly not the driving force behind this regime of such a massive scale...
Later that day, we ate dinner and went around the old part of Nuremberg, sprawling with medieval architecture given a modern high street twist.
The atmosphere of the town is simply amazing, filling me with feelings I have yet to find words for. It’s truly a culture shock for me, in a very good way. It kind of feels like I’m in a dream where I jump between those paintings you’d find at Italian restaurants.
I’m very much looking forward to these next ten days. Hard to believe that this is simply the beginning.