We negotiated the Schnellbahn as far as the Hauptbahnhof, had a bite to eat, then caught the Metro to the Courts of Justice. For 5 Euros each we were able to spend hours in the permanent exhibition of the Trials as well as actually going in to Court 600 where it all took place. We had English commentary on all the various exhibits and it was a truly educational and enlightening experience.

Courtroom 600

Interesting snippet: all those sentenced to death were hanged on the same morning of October 16th (my brother’s birthday!) except Goering who managed to commit suicide just hours earlier, taking cyanide which had been smuggled into his cell. Rudolf Hess, who had earlier flown to Scotland to try to negotiate peace and had been interned until the trials, outlived all the others in prison and was for a while the only inmate,  yet committed suicide in Spandau prison, Berlin, in 1987. How real is that! John Lennon died 6 years earlier!

That’s what we think has made our visits to WW2 sites so amazing. It concerns a time only 14 years before I was born, a time my parents and Mary’s parents lived through and a series of events for which so much evidence still remains.

Pure Genius

After a pit-stop for a sandwich and a pint of Guinness (hopefully see the photo, Mary had a coffee NOT a pint of the black stuff) we headed for the Doku-Zentrum which houses all the stuff about the rise of the National Socialist Party and Hitler. What we wanted to see were the actual places where the rallies took place. What we saw was a series of gigantic but unfinished building projects that Hitler had ordered to rally his followers and rival the status of Julius Caesar. These included 2 huge Coliseum-type arenas and a 16-lane wide thoroughfare stretching for almost half a mile along which the Nazis intended to strut their stuff. Awesome.

     The long road where the rallies were held.

Funny things happen all the same. When we reached the wide expanse of avenue described above, we realised we had come to a place right behind our campsite! We didn’t even have to take the train again as we could just walk down a wee lane to the front gate. Geography isn’t always that easy.

I should have said earlier that, when we were in the main station, we got our tickets for the bus to Prague tomorrow and we cashed in some Euros for Czech korunas! I now have 3000 of them in my wallet. Pity that’s only 150 Euros. But I still remember the kids trying to cope with foreign currencies and finding it impossible to understand that 1000 Italian Lira was very little indeed. They insisted that all Italians must be dead rich!

So it’s the 14.30 bus to Prague tomorrow. Mary is hoping to meet an old friend……… her Czech mate!!!!

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