Hello everyone! My name is Elizabeth Hernandez and I am a sophomore nursing major from Chicago, Illinois.
We spent the last five and a half days in Berlin. We visited many historical sites. We had the opportunity to explore the city before we said farewell to the Meininger Hostel. Next, we packed our bags for the next stop on our list -Nuremberg!
In the morning we gathered for a short class discussion before we departed for the train. The main focus of the class was to reflect on the many memorials and museums we have encountered thus far. We spoke in small groups about our interpretations of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and correlated our ideas back to the reading by James E. Young. My specific group talked about the location of the memorial. It is in a very residential area and only minutes away from Germany’s biggest shopping mall, which we found odd. I find this to be very effective when thinking about the questions Young proposed: Who will it be for? What will it mean for those who surround it? I can not speak for the artist in saying that the memorial was built in order to remind German citizens of the Holocaust or who the intended audience is. My own interpretation that it stands as a reminder to the residents of the area and the people of Germany specifically. I left the conversation with those questions in mind, and intend to gather my own ideas and answers as we continue on with the rest of our trip.
Once we arrived in Nuremberg we made our way to the Jugendherberge Hostel where we will be staying for the night. Immediately after, we went to the well known Nazi Rally Party Site found in the southeastern part of the city. On our way there, many of us could not help but point out the beautiful details on buildings and the architexture itself. Professor Anna Peterson later gave us on the reasoning behind having the rallies in Nuremberg. Initially the Nazi Party gathered for these events in the city of Munich. However, because of the desire to gather more attention to their propaganda, they decided to use the beautiful scenery that the city gives off to attract more people to their ideas and events. It was disturbing to hear of the use of such a beautiful city that would be used to represent a group that was centralized around antisemitism and hate.
Once we arrived at the location of the Nazi Rally Site, many of us were surprised to see that portions of it had been renovated and made into a football field. There were also many business buildings and even a food stand located around it. It seems as though remnants of the original site were left in tact. The world around it seems to be attempting to move past the history of the location. The thought of memorializing a place that was controlled by the perpetrators is not ideal. It did give off a very uncomfortable feeling to think that a football game could take place in the same exact place that these events happened. However, I felt that it could be interpreted as people moving forward and not accepting the remembrance of such a place and the Nazi Party itself.Tomorrow we will be visiting the Palace of Justice. I look forward to learning more about the Nuremberg Trials (1945-46) and visiting the historical site.