Monday, March 21, 2011

Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany - May 30, 2010

Nuremberg was a favorite stomping ground - literally - for Adolph Hitler during his "excite the masses" period of 1927 to 1938 or so. A week long rally held here each September would rouse a rabble of as many as 500,000 to attend a magnificantly choreographed display of histrionics, goose-stepping march-bys, banner waving and even mock battles. After the war ended, of course, Nuremberg became the venue for the eponymous trials. A dark chapter indeed.
Today, this historic Bavarian city on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal has a population right at 500,000. Nuremberg is believed to have been founded around the turn of the 11th century and is sometimes acknowledged to have been the 'unofficial capital' of the Holy Roman Empire.
In the nineteenth century Nuremberg became the "industrial heart" of Bavaria with companies such as Siemens and MAN establishing strong bases there. The Nuremberg International Toy Fair is the largest of its kind in the world. Perhaps most famously, the main part of Nicolaus Copernicus's work was published in Nuremberg in 1543.
During WWII, Nuremberg was the headquarters of Military District) XIII and an important site for the production of airplanes, submarines, and tank engines. 
The city was severely damaged by Allied bombing from 1943 to 45 and on January 2, 1945, the medieval city center was bombed by the Royal Air Force and the U.S. Army Air Forces. About ninety percent of it was destroyed in less than an hour, Happily, the city was rebuilt after the war and was partly restored to its pre-war appearance. Lots more images here.

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