Dokumentationszentrum Museum, Nuremberg
Bayernstrasse 110, Nuremberg, Germany
www.agermanyattraction.com/a… - (0911) 231 5666
Dokumentationszentrum Museum, Nuremberg Reviews
Dokumentationszentrum Museum, Nuremberg Aug 24, 2008
The Dokumentationszentrum Museum is located in the derelict and incomplete Kongresshalle building not far from Nuremberg city centre. It is easily reached on the number six tram running east. The museum is well worth the short trip outside the city walls of Nuremberg.
I probably wasn't anymore interested in World War II than the average person before I visited this museum. Of course that still means I was really, quite interested in the war but the quality of this museum really piqued my interest and I always make a point now to see exhibits on World War II if there are any in the places I travel too.
My friends and I took the tram out to the area. Our intention was to see the Kongresshalle and the grounds of the Nuremberg rallies. We had all but forgotten that there was a museum in the Kongresshalle so after seeing the ruins and the rally grounds we walked by the entrance of the museum (we had walked around the Kongresshalle) and decided to give it a look. Admission is very reasonable, just 5 euros. It was well worth it.
The museum is a very modern construct in one section of the Kongresshalle. It's open plan and somewhat sterile in parts. The design of the interior is quite appealing and appropriate as well. The first thing we went to see in the museum was a short documentary in the cinema room. The documentary was subtitled in English and it was a really, really excellent account of the material that the museum covers. Pre-war Germany and its Nazi Propaganda, the war itself and the immediate repercussions. The documentary has some very honest and compelling accounts from natives of Nuremberg. However it should be mentioned that it does have some disturbing holocaust footage and however brief these scenes were, they do of course stick in your mind. The documentary was utterly engrossing and very moving. The 'cinema room' is fully lit and I found myself stealing glances at other viewers (at times) to see if they were as horrified as I was by parts of the film.
It was good to start with the documentary as well because it lays out what the museum covers so it's like a little refresher of your World War II knowledge before you see the exhibits. I think the documentary was possibly the high point of the museum though.
The exhibits are very informative and very interesting. It is easy to get a little too caught up and end up spending too long in the museum. I don't think in any museum that you can absorb every single bit of information it has to offer but here you do want to try! I thought the photographic pieces were really high quality and I enjoyed learning about the pre-war Nazi Propaganda and the roll that Nuremberg played in that and in Hitler's cultural plans.
One of the last areas of the museum also has an exterior rampart that juts out into the vacant interior of the Kongresshalle. The building was supposed to be a 50,000 seater stadium, modelled after the Colosseum, but it was never finished. The exterior walls still stand but the interior was never completed. You can really appreciate the scale of the building, viewing it from the rampart.
The Kongresshalle was one of Hitler's main building projects. His plans to redevelop Berlin had not begun yet so this was possibly the biggest construction that had started. It had to be abandoned mid-war because funds were needed elsewhere. If I remember correctly some parts of the building were even dismantled as materials were needed elsewhere. The structure is a curious mix of classical and austere Nazi design. A tour of the museum allows you to see a little of the Kongresshalle too. Also not too far away, just the other side of the Dutzendteich is are the grounds of the Nuremberg Rallies and the derelict Zeppelin Tribune. Here you can try to imagine what it would have been like to be at a Nazi rally. Being on top of the Zeppelin Tribune is a little bit eery. As my friends and I were walking back to the Kongresshalle after being on the Tribune and looking a little around the grounds we actually saw a man step up onto the podium and start gesturing with his arm out towards the fields, as he was speaking to his wife. We stopped dead in our tracks. It was shocking but funny to see someone unwittingly do something so, so inappropriate. At least I hope he was doing it unwittingly.
The whole area is definitely my favourite part of Nuremberg. It's not the prettiest area of the city but it's definitely the most interesting and really gives you cause to have a good, long think.
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