The Nuremberg rallies
The Nazis held earlier rallies of the Nazi Party in Nuremberg in 1923, 1926, 1927 and 1929, although it is the rallies held in the city between 1933 and 1938 after Hitler came to power that showed Germans and the world how huge gatherings with tremendous spectacle and displays of strength could be used to shape the views and feelings of many millions of German people. These early rallies give a sense of what the Nazis were trying to achieve and the messages they were sending and added to the overall image of a 'movement' rtaher than an ordinary political party. Something different to vote for.
In choosing Nuremberg as the venue for Nazi Party rallies, Hitler and his associates wanted to emphasise the continuity of German history. Nuremberg had been a major medieval town, at the junction of a number of significant trade routes. It was also the birthplace of the great Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, and the centre of a strong tradition of popular poetry and song known as Meistersänger (mastersingers). Thus, to Hitler and other Nazi leaders Nuremberg seemed to provide a suitable backdrop and arena for their displays of power and the broadcasting of the messages that their propagandists designed to win support for their policies.
Of the earlier rallies, the 1929 rally (2nd-5th August) was the first truly spectacular one. All major buildings in Nuremberg were used for meetings and the major open spaces were used for large- scale dramatic spectacles. On the second day, bands played ear-piercing overtures from Hitler’s favourite composer, Wagner; athletes paraded with burning torches, human swastikas were formed; Hitler made a speech lasting two hours, followed by a dazzling display of fireworks. However, the rallies that followed Hitler’s coming to power were even more spectacular.
A Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg, Germany in 1929.