Zeppelin Field

Entrance to Zeppelin Tribüne and Golden Hall

The photograph above shows the rear of the reviewing stand built in 1934 at the Zeppelin Field in Nürnberg, Germany for Hitler's Nazi party rallies. On the far right is the front entrance to the Golden Hall, which has been converted into a museum called Faszination und Gewalt (Fascination and Violence).

Entrance to Golden Hall and the Museum

Inside the museum, there is a powerful display of photographs showing German soldiers on parade and contrasting photographs of marching columns of concentration camp prisoners. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues through Sunday from July to October and is free.

The photograph below shows the modern sculpture, constructed out of salvage from World War II and spray-painted battleship gray, which stands in front of the Museum. Hitler favored classical art and deplored this kind of modern art, which he referred to as "degenerate art." It has often been said that the winners write the history of a war; the winners also build the monuments, so the memorial artwork at all the World War II historical places is the opposite of what Hitler admired.

Sculpture in front of Museum at the Zeppelin Field

Regular viewers of the History Channel will recognize the marble reviewing stand at the Zeppelin Field, shown in the photograph below, as the place where the Nazi swastika was blown up by the Allies in a symbolic display of victory over the Nazis on April 24, 1945. The film clip of the dynamiting of the swastika has been shown thousands of time on American TV. On the central promontory, which is the speaker's stand where Hitler used to give his speeches, you can still make out the faint outline of another swastika which was removed from the marble by the American military. Inside the Golden Hall, a gold mosaic swastika has been left on the ceiling as a grim reminder of Germany's dark past.

Speaker's stand still shows faint outline of swastika

The destruction of the hated Nazi swastika emblem, encircled by a gold-plated laurel wreath, took place four days after three divisions of the American Seventh Army had caputured the city of Nuremberg. A new book by German author Peter Heigl shows photographs of the demolition, along with numerous other photos of the aftermath of the American conquest of Nuremberg on April 20, 1945, which happened to be Hitler's 56th birthday. On the day that the swastika was blown up, the victorius Americans held their third victory parade on the Zeppelin field, according to Heigl's book. A quote from the newsreel shown in American theaters is included in the book:

A swastika will no longer flaunt its crooked arms above the Nazi shrine. With the situation well in hand, the Yanks stage a review. Newsreel and Signal Corps camera men made this record of the last days of Hitler's Germany. The cleansing fires of the war have purged Germany of Nazi power. Let's be sure it never again rises from her ashes.

The three divisions that fought in the battle of Nuremberg were the 3rd, the 42nd and the 45th Infantry divisions. The 42nd Rainbow Division and the 45th Thunderbird division went on to liberate the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945. The Battle of Nuremberg was given great importance by the American military, according to Heigl's book, because it "was in the eyes of the Americans nothing less than the sacred home of National Socialism."

More photos of Zeppelin Field

History of Nazi Rallies


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This page was last updated on June 23, 2008