Nuremberg town centre

The postcard on the right designed by Gustav Goetschel shows the skyline of mediaeval Nuremberg. In the background above Nürnberg castle Hitler is shown in front of a swastika flanked by Julius Streicher and Gauleiter Wagner.
Hitler's D-2600 above Nuremberg on the left from Triumph of the Will, taken from page 17 of Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers.
Clearly, Riefenstahl is deifying Hitler: the ‘plane in which Hitler is flying cuts through dark clouds; the clouds part, and sunlight streams through, silhouetting the crucifix-like shape of the ‘plane upon the ancient churches and houses of Nuremberg. Hitler descends, as a god from the sky, pushing aside the storm clouds of Germany’s problems, ready to give salvation, and enable Germans to inherit the earth. 

More screen shots of the town from the start of Triumph of the Will
video video
Nuremberg old town as seen in Triumph of the Will during the 1934 Party Rally, left, and amateur colour footage filmed at the 1938 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg.
 Although the city had been practically obliterated during the war, many of the landmarks scene in this clip can still be identified as shown below.

The photo on the right appears to show an Italian delegation.

Links to archival footage:

90% of the city had been bombed to nothing after the war, as this photo from June 1945 shows. What is seen now by the visitor is a marvel of reconstruction.
Bergstraße on the left then and now and the Reichsparteitag of 1937, looking down the same street from the castle.
  Nürnberger Tor and Ludwigstor after the war and today
 Obere Talgasse in 1935 and today, and the Laufer Schlagturm after the war and today

Innere Laufer Gasse before the war and now
Äußere Laufer Gasse in 1918 and now

Nürnberg Hauptbahnhof
Horst Wessel leading SA troops in front of the main train station
Hitler and Himmler reviewing the Leibstandarte-ϟϟ Adolf Hitler.

Adolf Hitler Youth Hostel

The tower behind me, built in 1377, is said to have been the gaol for Kaspar Hauser. During the the 1930s Hitler requested the site be used for accommodation for as many as 450 'young hikers.'

Gästehaus der NSDAP
The Party Guest House was completed in time for the 1936 Nuremberg Party Rally. Hermann Göring stayed here for this and subsequent rallies. Standing directly across from the train station in 2007, it is little changed.

Another Nazi-era building on the Bahnhofplatz- the post office.
The Party Congress of 1934 opened here with a reception on September 4. The following year Hitler had been presented here with a replica of the old German imperial sword. The Party Congress of 1936 saw Hitler stating at the rathaus that that year had been “the most difficult year of my own historic role.”



The Frauenkirche is one of the few buildings still intact after World War II. This bustling square in the heart of the Altstadt is the site of daily markets as well as the famous Christkindlesmarkt. At the eastern end is the ornate Gothic Pfarrkirche Unsere Liebe Frau (1350-58), also known as simply the Frauenkirche. The work of Prague cathedral builder Peter Parler, it's the oldest Gothic hall church in Bavaria and stands on the ground of Nuremberg's first synagogue.  The western façade is beautifully ornamented and is where, every day at noon, crowds crane their necks to witness a spectacle called Männleinlaufen. It features seven figures, representing electoral princes, parading clockwise three times around Emperor Karl IV.

The Frauenkirche providing the backdrop for the 1933 Party Rally left and 1935.
The American Army by the time of Hitler's birthday, April 20, 1945 and the church today with its Männleinlaufen still ringing in noon.

The church in 1945 and 1946.
Opposite the Frauenkirche is a replica of the Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) which dates from around 1385 and now stored in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum)
Hitler and Röhm beside the Schöner Brunnen in Victory of Faith; the photo on the right shows Leni Riefenstahl on the ground as she tries to capture a dramatic angle for the film.

St. Sebaldus Church
SA troops parading past Hitler with Sebaldus church in the background during the Reichsparteitag der NSDAP 10th-16th September 1935, in Nuremberg. In the car with Hitler is the Blutfahne; Jakob Grimminger, carrier of the Blutfahne flag, is behind. It was at this rally that the Congress of the Nazi Party convened in Nuremberg, Germany, on September 10, 1935, to discuss passage of laws to clarify the requirements of citizenship in the Third Reich, to promote and protect the “purity of German blood and honour,” and to define the position of Jews in the Reich. Two principal laws were enacted by the Reichstag (parliament) on September 15, 1935, which, along with various ancillary laws that followed them, were collectively called the Nuremberg Laws or, in full, the Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship and Race.
The laws actually grew out of a debate over the economic effects of Nazi Party actions against Jews. It was decided that the party would cease such actions once the Reich had formulated a firm official policy against the Jews. The policy, embodied in the Nuremberg Laws, was hastily drawn up—so hastily that, because there was a shortage of regular stationery, some portions of the text of the laws were drafted on menu cards. The first major law, called the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, prohibited marriage as well as extramarital sexual intercourse between Jews and Germans. The law also barred the employment of German females under 45 years of age in Jewish households.
The second major law, the Reich Citizenship Law, summarily stripped Jews of German citizen- ship, introducing a new distinction between “Reich citizens” and “Reich nationals”—the Jewish Germans to be included in the latter category.
The Nuremberg Laws codified what had been the general but unofficial measures taken against Jews in Germany to 1935.
Further reading: Burrin, Philippe. Nazi Anti-Semitism: From Prejudice to the Holocaust. New York: New Press, 2005; Hecht, Ingeborg. Invisible Walls: A German Fam- ily Under the Nuremberg Laws. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt, 1985.
The Jews' Sow, an example of antisemitic propaganda used by the authorities to ostracise the Jewish minority and still allowed to adorn the church. In 2003 Wolfram Kastner sprayed the slogan 'Judensau' (Jewish Pig) on the church façade to protest the continuing display of this obscenity and to prompt the church to place a sign explaining the meaning of the sculpture.
 St. Lorenz Church
The Lorenzkirche after the war and today
The Apollo-Theater and Zeughaus on Pfannenschmiedsgasse before and after the war and today
Pfannenschmiedsgasse has completely changed since the war
The Nürnberg Polizeipräsidium in 1942 and today, this time relocated to Jakobsplatz with the Franconian eagle
The Museumsbrücke spanning the river Pegnitz to connect the Marktplatz with the Church of St. Lawrence.

Albrecht Dürer Haus
During the Nazi era and today
Postcards of the Albrecht Dürer House in Nuremberg regularly portrayed the structure festooned in swastika flags, but the postcards of the Goethe House presented a building seemingly untouched by the passage of time. All in all, the Goethe sites conveyed an image of Goethe and an interpretation of his life and work that was not overtly Nazified. The visitors who arrived by the thousands thus experienced the house and the museum just as visitors had done for decades.
A tour to the Second World War bunkers starts here. There is a four storey passageway under the Albrecht Dürer Platz called “Felsengänge” and was burrowed into the sandstone in the 14th century. The passageway was used as a shelter during the Second World War.


Formerly an impressive late Renaissance building built 1602-05 by the architect Jakob Wolff the Elder, the building was destroyed during the war and replaced by the monstrosity on the right..

The Hangman's Bridge (Henkersteg) was constructed in 1457 as a wooden bridge. Between the 16th and the 19th century, the Nuremberg hangman lived in the tower and the roofed walk above the river Pegnitz. After the flood of 1595, three arches of the town wall bridging the southern arm of the river Pegnitz were demolished and replaced by the wooden Hangman's Bridge with its tiled roof . It was reconstructed in 1954 after almost entirely destroyed during the war.

Luftschutzschule Hermann Göring

During its inauguration and today, derelict 

Another Nazi-era school at Regenbogenstraße 73 with façade dating from 1935

Julius Streicher's Gauhaus
Headquarters at Marienplatz 5 of the Nazi Party in Nuremberg, and of Gauleiter Julius Streicher, Nazi leader of Franconia.
The Gauhaus in flames in this U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph on the left taken on 27 April 1945. The Reich eagle is visible through the smoke.

The name of a newspaper, the Nürnberger Nachrichten, replaces the eagle and swastika on the façade whilst the back of the building is one of the only remaining examples of original Nazi relief, depicting National Socialism fighting the Weimar Republic and Jews.
Compare with Der Racher (The Avenger) from Hitler's favourite sculptor, Arno Breker.
Oct. 1, 1946: Day 218, and last, of the Nuremberg trial. Julius Streicher hearing the charges against him again recited before being found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.
Streicher was the founder and publisher of the extremely crude and vulgar Der Stürmer 'newspaper', and his publishing firm also produced three anti-Semitic books for children, including one of the most widespread pieces of propaganda, the 1938 Der Giftpilz (The Poison Mushroom), which purported to warn about insidious dangers Jews posed by using the metaphor of an attractive yet deadly mushroom. After the war, he was convicted of crimes against humanity and executed. Controversially so, for his execution went against the idea of freedom of speech, Streicher not having been involved in waging or planning war.

Nuremberg trials court building

The site of the Nuremberg war crimes trials. It is still a working court building, so tourist hours are limited to weekends. It was here that the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg was convened pursuant to the London Agreement of August 8, 1945, which included a charter, signed by representatives from Britain, the US, the USSR, and the provisional government of France, for a military tribunal to try major Axis war criminals on four possible counts: crimes against peace (the planning, instigation, and waging of wars of aggression in violation of international treaties and agreements), crimes against humanity (exterminations, deportations, and genocide), war crimes (violations of the accepted laws and international conventions of war), and conspiracy to commit any or all of the criminal acts listed in the first three counts. As these offences had no particular or specific geographic location. Subsequently, 19 other nations accepted the tribunal provisions of the agreement.
The tribunal was made up of a member (and an alternate) selected by each of the four principal signatory countries. The first session was convened under the presidency of General I. T. Nikitchenko on October 18, 1945, in Berlin when 24 former Nazi leaders were charged with war crimes, and various groups (including the Gestapo) were charged as being criminal in character. After this first session, all others, beginning on November 20, 1945, were held in Nuremberg under the presidency of Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, the British member.
Courtroom 600 in 1945 and today

The judges and the accused; the seats the latter sat on today. Defendants had the right to receive a copy of the indictment, to offer an explanation or defence, to be represented by legal counsel, and to confront and cross-examine all witnesses brought against them.
On the left is the bench where the accused sat. It was expanded during the trial, so it looks a bit smaller now. The video shows the October 17, 1946 U.S. Newsreel of the Nuremberg Trials Sentencing when, at the conclusion of 216 court sessions, the verdicts on 22 of the original 24 defendants were handed down. One defendant, Robert Ley, had committed suicide whilst in gaol, and the aged Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, the great German arms manufacturer, was judged mentally and physically unfit to stand trial. Of the 22 tried, three, Hjalmar Schacht, Franz von Papen, and Hans Fritzsche, were acquitted; four, Karl Dönitz, Baldur von Schirach, Albert Speer, and Konstantin von Neurath, were sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison; three, Rudolf Hess, Walther Funk, and Erich Raeder, were sentenced to life imprisonment; and 12 were sentenced to be hanged. Of these, ten—Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Keitel, and Arthur Seyss-Inquart—were executed on October 16, 1946. Martin Bormann was tried and condemned to death in absentia, and Hermann Göring committed suicide before sentence could be carried out.
The tribunal established certain enduring principles of international law, including those embodied in the rejection of the chief defences offered by the defendants. The tribunal rejected the contention that only a state, and not individuals, could be found guilty of war crimes. The court concluded that only by holding individuals to account for committing such crimes could international law be enforced. The tribunal also rejected the defence that the trial as well as its adjudication were ex post facto. All acts of which the defendants were found guilty, the tribunal held, had been universally regarded as criminal prior to World War II which created a precedent for subsequent war crimes trials relating to World War II as well as subsequent conflicts.

Deutscher Hof
Like a Roman emperor Hitler rode into this medieval town at sundown today past solid phalanxes of wildly cheering Nazis who packed the narrow streets that once saw Hans Sachs and the Meistersinger. Tens of thousands of Swastika flags blot out the Gothic beauties of the place, the faces of the old houses, the gabled roofs. The streets, hardly wider than alleys, are a sea of brown and black uniforms. I got my first glimpse of Hitler as he drove by our hotel, the Württemberger Hof, to his headquarters down the street at the Deutscher Hof, a favourite old hotel of his, which has been remodelled for him... Later I pushed my way into the lobby of the Deutscher Hof. I recognized Julius Streicher, whom they call here the Uncrowned Czar of Franconia. In Berlin he is known more as the number-one Jew-baiter and editor of the vulgar and pornographic anti-Semitic sheet the Stürmer. His head was shaved and this seemed to augment the sadism of his face. As he walked about, he brandished a short whip. 
William L. Shirer, Berlin Diary, September 4 1934 entry

This is the hotel at Frauentorgraben 29 where Hitler always stayed whilst in Nuremberg, in suite 105.
A troop of Hitler Youth marching past Hitler and from the same vantage point today

Arabella Sheraton Hotel (Fr
änkischer Hof)
The Fränkischer Hof had originally mostly accommodated the press during Party Rallies.
This Nazi shield with its swastika somewhat intact was reinstalled in the front of this hotel, having originally come from the Fränkischer Hof shown below which shows it and the three other shields high above the entrance.
Its various incarnations after the war.

High Bunker Worhd
One of the largest air raid shelters during the war, holding 678 people; part now used by organisation to simulate blindness. The photo on the extreme right shows an example of an air-tight door used in Nuremberg air raid shelters.

The Nazi eagle still adorns the main administrative building for the railway.

Nearby is the
Monument at Essenweinstrasse, serving as a reminder of the destruction of another synagogue during Reichkristallnacht.:

Images of the destruction

Another memorial stone is at Spital Bridge commemorating the destruction of Nuremberg's main synagogue located on Hans Sachs Platz. It was destroyed on August 10 1938, two months before Reichskristallnacht.

The photo on the left shows a crowd outside the Schocken department store in Nuremberg on October 11, 1925. During the Third Reich Salman Schocken was politically forced to sell his department stores to the Merkur AG through the policy of Aryanisation) After the war Schocken sold his regained share of the company (51%) to Helmut Horten GmbH, which later became part of Kaufhof and is currently owned by Metro.