Maybe when people truly understand that we are all citizens of the same beautiful planet, sharing the same vaporous atmosphere within the same radiant solar system, perhaps then….they may at last realize, it is not their country that they need to protect but rather our entire living breathing Earth, along with its place among the stars in our shimmering Milky Way.
After all the destruction, the atrocities of World War II, and all of the other major wars that came long before that, it’s quite confounding to find that there are still people on our wonderful planet that believe terror and violence constitute an appropriate means of resolving conflict!
Ah well….. that’s enough of my soap box for now other than to say please….we must all advocate peace whenever we can.
Well it was Day 8 of our European River Cruise. We’d docked early in Nuremberg that morning.
To start the day, Dearly Beloved (D.B.) and I had chosen to visit several of the more solemn areas within this historical city called Nuremberg, Germany (population about 510,000); areas and places that, for us, had become so much a part of our own modern-day history, as we’d grown up in Australia just after all of the catastrophic destruction of World War 2. Indeed, during our childhoods, other wars still raged close by in Vietnam and Korea.
We therefore felt it important that we pay our respects and honour our fallen. We also hoped that the day’s sightseeing choices would allow us to gain a greater…much deeper….understanding.
We would be heading off to visit Hitler’s uncompleted Colosseum, along with the the Zeppelinfeld and the Courts of the Nuremberg War Trials.
Hitler had wanted to build a Colosseum of truly grand proportions. It was never completed. Today it is a museum housing many documents and newsreels (very old movies) from the 2nd World War. It stands solidly as a macabre reminder of past atrocities and as a fervent symbol of caution to our current and future generations.
After passing the Colosseum we travelled on to the Zeppelinfeld, originally known as the Nazi Party Rally grounds. It was enormous; far bigger than one would think. It evidently catered for some 200,000 spectators and many more thousands of participants during the early rally years. Just to be there… to actually see where this person once stood rallying a nation actually filled me with the most eerie and unpleasant feeling.
Since the war, the Zepplinfeld has become a vacant and unused area of the city. It is mainly a sightseeing venue for tourists. On occasion, it has also been used as a venue for school football events and as a race track. It was also been used infrequently for rock festivals.
Today the Zeppelinfeld is crumbling; much in need of repair. The Government is quite controversially talking about spending money to maintain its structure. This is believed by some to be a scandalous project. But if repairs were to take place, it is envisaged that the area would continue to be used mainly as a tourist destination. It may house another museum…..I myself believe it is important for us to see the reminders…….lest we forget!
We then travelled on to the Nuremberg Palace of Justice; the actual court location of the Nuremberg War Trials. This is where the Allied Forces of World War 2 tried a large number of the most notable Nazi war criminals; mostly the more prominent members of the old political, military, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany.
I would have to say that the morning’s visits were thought provoking, unsettling, emotional and moving.
Would I have wanted to miss the experiences? No not at all….I don’t think so.
Some things in life still need to be experienced even when they prove difficult.
Afterall such experiences still enlighten us and thereby contribute to our awareness…..our unique understandings and central core of inner beliefs.
But I’m told we’re now living in the 21st century…Time now I believe to have a united flag for our earth and our solar system….. rather than just our country!