Nom de Plumage

March 11, 2013



The name alone, for any person who has an interest in World War II, conjures up the infamous trial after the end of the war and the execution/imprisonment of some of the main perpetrators of the holocaust. To be honest, it is the main reason that I am visiting the city, and the other fact, that it is only an hours train ride away from Munich.

I exit the train station and to my right, the impressive stone courthouse stands before me. The weather, cold, grey and miserable, personifies the very emotion as I stand at the black gate and stare at the building that I have seen so many times in history books and documentaries. What I have to remember is, this is still a working courthouse. In the subsequent years and maybe because of its notoriety, it is also now a museum and tourist attraction.

‘Room 600’ during the trial, had been refitted to accommodate the media and  the legal representatives from several main countries, who invested so much in bringing the eight men to trial for their crimes. It is the first aspect of the room that I notice, it looks different somewhat to the photo’s. In saying that, it takes nothing away from the beautiful wooden furnishing and panels, nor the overwhelming feeling of actually sitting in the room. To be sure and not get thrown out, I ask permission to take photo’s. Thankfully, photo’s were permitted.

DSC00220     DSC00221     DSC00222

Upstairs, is a fantastic museum, detailing every aspect of the trial, the lives of the condemned and the war itself, through photographs and old footage. Hours can easily be spent here reading the history and watching the news reels, detailing every part of the trial. There is one small detail that had a profound affect upon me and one that I wish to share. Eight men were on trial for atrocities committed, either by their own actions or by their commands, to eliminate human beings on a mass scale. To watch footage of them enter the courtroom of a morning, elegantly dressed (as the Germans only knew how) in their military or civilian attire, with big smiles on their faces, laughing, shaking hands or slapping each other on the back, is as men would normally act at either a football game on a Sunday afternoon with friends or at a social gathering at a pub/club. And yet these men behaved just as I have written. They showed no fear, or believed there any evidence to suggest or condemn them on the charges, and so their mannerisms belied the farce that they believed the trial to represent. I could only watch the surreal footage and wonder, did they really believe in their innocence or beneath their calm demure, did they know how much the world hated them? Needless to write, the inevitable verdict came and so too did their execution or suicide.

A fascinating an emotional experience and one that I am grateful to have the opportunity to sit in the most famous court room of the 20th century.

Nuremberg is not only famous for the court-house, it is also the birthplace and home of Albrecht Durer. I discovered this by accident via my discovery of what else the city offers. His name is synonymous with Renaissance art, but his genius as an engraver, printmaker, mathematician and theorist, are not to be forgotten.

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The house (middle picture on left) is a three storey medieval style wooden structure. Beautifully preserved, it unfortunately has no real furnishings that belonged to the master himself. What is in evidence, are furnishings and an artists tools, representing a medieval life through the eyes of a Renaissance Man. The house is entirely made up of wood. Each footstep upon the thick wooden floor, groans under my weight, a reminder of a different age whereby wood the main feature. Doorways and ceilings are low, even for my medium height at 5’6 inches, I had to bow when entering the small rooms. A different era and a different way of life, this little gem; beautifully restored and kept, is but one artists castle and an admirers delight.

self-portrait in a Fur-Collared Robe

self-portrait in a Fur-Collared Robe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Creator: Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel f...

Creator: Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality/Still Picture Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on woohaigotyouallinczech.

    Comment by woohaigotyouallinczech — March 12, 2013 @ 12:05 am | Reply

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