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Germany: Plans to use Nazi location for opera criticized

November 28, 2021

The opera in Nuremberg is in need of a new home while the current opera house is renovated. But the decision to temporarily relocate to a Nazi courtyard has sparked controversy.

Germany | NSDAP Congress Hall on the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg
The Congress Hall on the Nazi Party rally grounds is a controversial choice for Nuremberg's operaImage: Norbert Probst/imagebroker/imago images

Proposals to temporarily move Nuremberg's opera house to either the former Nazi Party rally grounds or the courtyard of the never-completed Nazi Congress Hall have incensed historical societies, German media reported on Sunday.

A new location for the historic opera is required as its present home is in major need of repair. The renovations are expected to last several years.

The non-profit organization History for All, which offers tours of the rally grounds, argues the decision compromises education about Nazi Party ideology and propaganda.

White-washing German history

Nazi megalomania

Showing visitors the original facades of Nazi structures in the German city was a way to illustrate fascist megalomania, as well as its ultimate downfall, the association wrote in an open letter on Sunday.

Anti-Nazi party in Neo-Nazi town

The Congress Hall was intended to be 80 meters high and to host 50,000 people. However, construction came to a standstill at the outset of World War II. What is left is a 38-metre-high shell around a huge courtyard. The opera house argues it would make an ideal venue.

The city council is due to make a decision about the setting on December 15.

An open letter from the opera theater management says that there are no other viable options.

DPA contributed to this article.

John Silk Editor and writer for English news, as well as the Culture and Asia Desks.@JSilk