A couple of weeks ago I visited the Nuremberg stadium for the first time; it’s sheer size is overwhelming and when you consider what it symbolised and who once stood there, on a cold March day it was chilling in every way to walk around the site.
But one thing I noticed was this landmark of the ‘Thousand Year Reich’ is crumbling, and in places falling down. It took battle damage in 1945 and much of the original structure has been removed over the years; as such it appears to have damaged the integrity of much of the stonework. A main road runs close by with heavy traffic and the site is regularly used for public events, although not the type it was originally built for. While scrubbed out, graffiti and vandalism are obviously commonplace.
What to do with such a structure? Given what it once represented should it perhaps be left to turn to dust?
I can hardly be called an apologist for the Nazi regime, as this post will show, but as an historian I view any form of history crumbling away as this is as a bad thing. Buildings are as important as documents in a dusty archive and to let such a structure fall to pieces is a crime; to understand what the Third Reich was and what its aims were we have to able to show future generations places like this. Sadly it seems locally there is little desire to do anything; but it was once like that in Berlin and now there is active interest in preserving Nazi period buildings. One can only hope it will change and as we move towards the 70th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War there might be a local initiative to ensure important locations like the Nuremberg Stadium are preserved.