International Toy Fair Nuremberg 2008
Internationale Spielwarenmesse Nürnberg 2008

I will mention it only once...

In line with the character John Cleese played in the famous television series 'Fawlty Towers', I will mention the war only once, and hope to get away with it!
At first glance, it seems strange to bring up the subject when reporting on the Toy Fair in Nuremberg. But it happens that the site of the fair buildings is very near, in fact adjacent, to very historic ground: the site where the Nazis held their party rallies during the nineteen thirties. My day of arrival, before the fair opened the next day, gave me some time to explore the site.

x 1. Fair buildings
2. Great Road
3. Zeppelin field
4. Congress Hall and Luitpoldhain park
(photo taken from Google Earth)
The eastern buildings of the fair are right next to the Great Road, a road that was designed for large parades. The parade would start from the Southeast, where barracks for the military of the SS and Hitlerjugend were planned. These were never built - the Nazis would refer to their project as 'the largest construction site of the world', which in fact, it was. Many buildings were planned, such as the German Stadion, with a capacity of over 400.000 spectators, but the Stadium never got any further than its foundation.
Although the Great Road got completed, it was never used for parades as in 1939 Germany started the war, and no further Party Rally Days were held anymore.
The pavement was designed with black granite squares to guide the parading soldiers so they would march in straight lines.

view to the Southeast
After the war, the Americans used this road as an air strip.
Nowadays this 2 kilometres long and 60 metres wide road is mainly in use as a parking lot for the fair, with eight lanes for only this destination traffic, as miraculously this road ends at the Congress Hall with a direct connection to a main road cut off.
x At the Zeppelin Field, named after the landing of the aircraft from Graf Zeppelin in 1909, the large rallies were held in the 1930's, with only one purpose: to hypnotise the masses, and glorify the Nazi Party.
(photo taken from info panel at site)
It was here that Hitler spoke from a special constructed platform on the Grand Stand, as we know it from the many documentaries on WWII before a 200.000 crowd gathered on a field encompassing more than 12 football fields. x
The center part of the Grand Stand (Zeppelintribüne)
x Hitler addresses the masses from the Grand Stand (Zeppelintribüne)
(photo taken from info panel at documentation centre)

The never completed Congress Hall resembling the Colosseum is one of the largest remaining examples of the Nazi architecture. This building would have become one and a half times larger than its Roman example, and would fit 70.000 visitors.

The Congress Hall, looking Northeast
Today it houses a documentation centre covering the history of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds and very good information in general on WWII. The centre only takes a very small part of the building that mainly is in use as a warehouse, other uses of the building having been calculated as too expensive. x
The Congress Hall, looking Northwest from across the Dutzendteich (Dutzend pond)
x let's go to the Fair!