Goodbye Berlin, Hello Nuremberg!

During J-Term 2018, 286 students and 29 program leaders will participate in one of Luther's 17 courses around the globe. Although it's impossible to keep up with everyone, these blogs are designed to provide glimpses into our students' adventures.

Take a look at the course descriptions, itineraries, and leaders to learn the details of each exciting trip. Most importantly, read the blogs to experience life alongside our traveling students.

J-Term Highlights

Check out these highlighted posts about unforgettable moments, lessons learned, and life-changing experiences!

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.

-Elizabeth 

Elizabeth Hernandez
The view from our room in Nuremberg, Germany.
The stadium steps of a former Nazi Party rally site in Nuremberg, Germany.