The Nuremberg Rallies

RallyThe Nuremberg Rally was a periodic massive Nazi Party congresses held in 1923, 1927, 1929 and annually from 1933 through 1938 in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) in Bavaria. For obvious reasons, no rallies were held after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. As rallies were held in September (near the time of the Autumnal equinox), the 1939 rally was canceled.

The rallies were primarily powerful (very powerful, actually) propaganda events, carefully staged to reinforce party enthusiasm and to showcase the power of National Socialism to the rest of Germany and the world.

After 1933, rallies were held at specially constructed Nazi party rally grounds that covered about 11 square kilometers in the southeast of Nuremberg. Many documentaries were made to commemorate them, the most famous of which is Leni Riefenstahl’s The Victory of Faith and Triumph of the Will (which became a very powerful propaganda tool in itself).

The Victory of Faith was the first propaganda documentary directed by Leni Riefenstahl. Her film recounts the Fifth Party Rally of the Nazi Party, which occurred in Nuremberg from 30 August to 3 September 1933.

The documentary showed Adolf Hitler and Ernst Röhm on close and intimate terms – something that after the latter was shot on the orders of the former, Adolf Hitler did not want to be reminded about. So all known copies of the film were destroyed, and it was considered lost until a copy turned up in the 1990s in the United Kingdom.

The elements that marked all rallies were powerful and imposing: blaring Wagnerian overtures, stirring martial songs, banners, goose-step marches, human swastika formations, torchlight processions, bonfires, and magnificent fireworks displays.

Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders delivered lengthy orations, which often announcements of new Nazi directions. For example, in 1935 the racist Nürnberg Laws were promulgated at the corresponding rallies.

Buildings were festooned with enormous flags and Nazi insignia. The climax of the rallies was the solemn consecration of the colors, in which new flags were touched by the Blutfahne (“Blood Flag”).

Nuremberg rallies were very efficient tools for energizing the entire nation, uniting it around the Nazi Party and its Führer, instilling loyalty and obedience to Nazi regime (and personally Adolf Hitler), admiration and adoration of The Führer and providing powerful inspiration to make the maximum possible contribution to the victory in existential war against the “alien races”.

 

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