Nuremberg: Building The Führer Myth

Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitlers photographer, once said “Der Fotograf bildet ab, sonst nichts.” (The photographer depicts, nothing else.) This was his argument for turning a 10 year prison conviction to only 4 years.
Albert Speer, Hitlers architect and later Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition, was convicted to only 20 years of prison while other leading Nazis of his rank and with very similar collections of crimes against humanity were sentenced to death.
Leni Riefenstahl, Hitlers infamous director, wrote: „[…] wo liegt denn meine Schuld? Sagen Sie mir doch das. Ich habe keine Atombomben geworfen, ich habe niemanden verleugnet. Wo liegt denn meine Schuld? (Where is my fault? Tell me that. I didn’t throw any atom bombs, I didn’t deny anyone. Where is my fault?

Together with Göbbels as Reich Minister of Propaganda and many others creatives, they created the myth around Hitler and the Nazis. Their grandeur and elevation. They depicted the führer as a Messias and the SS as saviors from evil. But their professions deal with visual aspects and they have been and still are underestimated in their effects.
Is design able to create a monster? As you can see in this very distinct examples, it sure is.

The Kongresshalle

A never finished building to host more than 50.000 people. With a planned height of 70 meters and a diameter of 170 meters the biggest still existing of the Nazi buildings.

The Zeppelintribüne

from where the Reichsparteitag happened and Hitler held his infamous speeches.

3 thoughts on “Nuremberg: Building The Führer Myth

  1. Your words and images of Nazi buildings and those immense gatherings at Hitler’s speeches make my skin crawl. The way you have inserted photos of your sweet dog and the flamingo boats amidst the evil is very powerful. What is the building with the balcony where the man is sitting? Inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Caroline,

      Until now, I just saw pictures of the sites and as we went to Austria and Italy, Nuremberg was on our way and we decided to stay shortly to have a look at those buildings. The way Nuremberg presents them today, is – fortunately – very un-megalomaniac. The colloseum of course is still huge as is the Zeppelintribüne, but there are fences and street crossings, building sites, people on skate boards which break the intended aura of the sites. You can still see what once happend there, but you reallly have to strain your imagination.
      And that’s good. No one has the need to stand on the small rostrum and raise his arm for the hitler salute.
      As always: You have to be there to get it. You can’t know from videos or books.
      The guy on the balcony is a tenant of a room in the colosseum. We talked shortly because he sat in this place, just in opposite to the big entrance, relaxing in the evening sun. He is part of the Nuremberg Harley Davidson Club and they rent a workshop in the colloseum.
      I like the fact that those buildings still exist to talk to us, but are used in a completely unintended way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m hoping that I’ll get back to Germany in Spring and I think I’ll add Nuremberg to the itinerary. The photo of the man on the balcony is striking. Thanks for the background story.

    Like

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