The Nuremberg Rally (officially Reichsparteitag (help·info), meaning Realm Party Convention[note 1]) was the annual rally of the Nazi Party in Germany, held from 1923 to 1938. They were large Nazi propaganda events, especially after Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933. These events were held at the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg from 1933 to 1938 and are usually referred to in English as the "Nuremberg Rallies". Many films were made to commemorate them, including Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will and The Victory of Faith.
The first Nazi Party rallies took place in 1923 in Munich and in 1926 in Weimar. From 1927 on, they took place exclusively in Nuremberg. The Party selected Nuremberg for pragmatic reasons: it was in the center of the German Reich and the local Luitpoldhain (converted parkland) was well suited as a venue. In addition, the Nazis could rely on the well-organized local branch of the party in Franconia, then led by Gauleiter Julius Streicher. The Nuremberg police were sympathetic to the event.
Later, the location was justified by the Nazi Party by putting it into the tradition of the Imperial Diet (German Reichstag) of the Holy Roman Empire, considered the First Reich. After 1933, the rallies took place near the time of the Autumnal equinox, under the title of "The German people's National Party days" (Reichsparteitage des deutschen Volkes), which was intended to symbolize the solidarity between the German people and the Nazi Party. This point was further emphasized by the yearly growing number of participants, which finally reached over half a million from all sections of the party, the army, and the state.
Each rally was given a programmatic title, which related to recent national events:
Official films for the rallies began in 1927, with the establishment of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) film office. The most famous films were made by Leni Riefenstahl for the rallies between 1933 and 1935. Relating to the theme of the rally, she called her first movie Victory of Faith (Der Sieg des Glaubens). This movie was taken out of circulation after the Night of the Long Knives, although a copy survived in Britain and has recently been made available on the Internet Archive for public viewing. The rally of 1934 became the setting for the award-winning Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens). Several generals in the Wehrmacht protested over the minimal army presence in the film: Hitler apparently proposed modifying the film to placate the generals, but Riefenstahl refused his suggestion. She did agree to return to the 1935 rally and make a film exclusively about the Wehrmacht, which became Tag der Freiheit: Unsere Wehrmacht.
The rallies for 1936 and 1937 were covered in Festliches Nürnberg, which was shorter than the others, only 21 minutes.
There were two sets of official or semi-official books covering the rallies. The "red books" were officially published by the NSDAP and contained the proceedings of the "congress" as well as full texts of every speech given in chronological order.
The "blue books" were published initially by Julius Streicher, the Gauleiter of Nuremberg, later by Hanns Kerrl, not by the party press. These were larger scale books that included the text of speeches and proceedings, as well as larger photographs.
In addition to these, collections of Heinrich Hoffman's photographs were published to commemorate each Party congress, as well as pamphlets of Hitler's speeches. Both series of books are much sought after by collectors.
The Adolf Hitler March of German Youth was a yearly rally of some 2,000 Hitler Youth who marched from all parts of Nazi Germany to the Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party, where they participated to the general parade. For some groups the task was quite demanding having to cover by foot as many as 800 kilometres (500 mi). They had to be "combat ready" (Wehrhaftmachung) anyway as this was the password given to them by their leader Baldur von Schirach.
After 1937, the march was extended beyond Nuremberg to Landsberg am Lech whose little fortress saw on 11 November 1923 Adolf Hitler greeted and escorted by thirty-nine guards to the broad and comfortable cell n. 7 which became his residence for some thirteen months. The aim of visiting that famous cell was to inculcate in those young and bound followers an apologetic and unconditional appreciation of the "supreme leader".Der Nürnberger Parteitag der NSDAP
Der Nürnberger Parteitag der NSDAP (English: The Nuremberg Convention of the NSDAP) is a 1929 propaganda film about the 4th party convention of the Nazi Party.
In 1928 financial difficulties forced the Nazi party to call off its annual congress at Nuremberg, so the next rally, the last to be held before the party took power, was held in August 1929.
The film is much longer than its 17-minute predecessor, and also features a much more mature Nazi party, with many more brown shirts, more elaborate entertainment, such as a fireworks show, and even a celebrity guest, General von Epp.Eine Symphonie des Kampfwillens
Eine Symphonie des Kampfwillens (A Symphony of the Will to Fight) is the first film documentary of a Nuremberg Rally.
Made soon after the establishment of the Nazi Party film office, the film is a short record of the highlights of the conference, interspersed with newspaper descriptions of the rally. It begins with the arrival at Nuremberg of the various contingents of Nazis, some on train, others in trucks or on foot. The main gatherings are held in parks, rather than the stadiums that would be used later.
An important moment in the film is the sequence when Adolf Hitler greets the delegations from areas of Germany that have been occupied or cut off from the Reich, such as the Ruhr, or Austria, and vows that the foreigners will be expelled and German people reunited. The film ends, like others in this series, with a parade of the Sturmabteilung before the Führer.Festliches Nürnberg
Festliches Nürnberg (English: Festive Nuremberg) is a short 1937 propaganda film chronicling the Nazi Party rallies in Nuremberg, Germany in 1936 and 1937. The film was directed by Hans Weidemann.Gerhard Wagner (physician)
Gerhard Wagner (18 August 1888 in Neu-Heiduk, Prussian Silesia, now in Poland – 25 March 1939 in Munich) was the first Reich Doctors' Leader (Reichsärzteführer) in the time of Nazi Germany.
Born a surgery professor's son, he studied medicine in Munich and served as a doctor at the front in World War I (1914–1918). Among other things, he was awarded the Iron Cross, first class.
From 1919, Wagner ran his own medical practice in Munich, while also being a member of two Freikorps between 1921 and 1923, von Epp and Oberland. Just because of his Silesian origins, Wagner stayed on as leader of the Upper Silesia German Community Associations (Deutschtumsverbände Oberschlesiens). In May 1929, he switched to the NSDAP.
Dr. Wagner was co-founder and as of 1932 leader of the National Socialist German Physicians' Federation (NSDÄB), and also functioned from 1933 as a member of the Palatinate Landtag. A year later, in 1934, Wagner was ordered to the position of Reich Doctors' Leader. Moreover, he was "The Führer's Commissioner for National Health". By 1933, he had already become leader of the Main Office for National Health, and in 1936 came his appointment as that office's Main Service Leader (Hauptdienstleiter).
In December 1935, Wagner became leader of the Reichsärztekammer (Physicians' Chamber). At the 1936 Nuremberg Rally, he discussed the racial laws. As was typical of Nazi propaganda at this time, this was more in terms of the pure and growing race than the evil of the Jews. A shift in his political career came in 1937 when he was promoted to SA Obergruppenführer. Meanwhile, he was also commissioner for collegiate issues on Rudolf Hess's staff.
Wagner died quite young, at only 50. The cause of his sudden death is to this day unknown. His successor was Leonardo Conti.
Gerhard Wagner was jointly responsible for euthanasia and sterilization carried out against Jews and the handicapped, and showed himself at the Nuremberg Party Congress in 1935 to be a staunch proponent of the Nuremberg Laws, and thereby also of Nazi Germany's race legislation and racial politics. Under Wagner's leadership, the Nazi killing institution at Hadamar was established.Gleichschaltung
Gleichschaltung (German pronunciation: [ˈɡlaɪçʃaltʊŋ]), or in English co-ordination, was in Nazi terminology the process of Nazification by which Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party successively established a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of German society, "from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education".The apex of the Nazification of Germany was in the resolutions approved during the Nuremberg Rally of 1935, when the symbols of the Nazi Party and the State were fused (see Flag of Germany) and German Jews were deprived of their citizenship (see Nuremberg Laws).Günther Ramin
Günther Werner Hans Ramin (15 October 1898 – 27 February 1956) was an influential German organist, conductor, composer and pedagogue in the first half of the 20th century.
Ramin, the son of a pastor, was born in Karlsruhe, Germany. At the age of 12 he was accepted into the famed Thomanerchor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig by the then-cantor, Gustav Schreck. At the time, Karl Straube, the organist, conductor, publisher and advocate of the music of Max Reger, was Schreck's assistant, and he took note of Ramin's abilities as an organist and composer. Later, when Straube took over the cantorate at the Thomaskirche, Ramin became his assistant, filling in for him as choirmaster and director.
During World War I, Ramin was drafted into military service; however, he managed to complete his examinations at the Leipzig Conservatory with distinction in January 1917 and on 30 May 1918, Straube was able to write to him on the front that he had been chosen as organist of the Thomaskirche. Ramin returned from the war and took up this position, which he held for twenty-two years until World War II broke out.
Ramin built a successful performing career as a concert organist; however, in the 1930s he increasingly devoted himself to conducting. He took over the directorship of the Lehrergesangsverein in Leipzig in 1923 and worked regularly with the choir of the Gewandhaus. In 1935 he became the conductor of the Philharmonic choir of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, increasing his fame. He was the organist at the 1936 Nuremberg rally, playing on a specially constructed organ, the largest in Germany at the time. On New Year's Day 1940, Ramin was appointed the cantor of the Thomanerchor at the Thomaskirche, succeeding Karl Straube, a post he held until his death. After this appointment, Ramin devoted himself to performing the choral works of J. S. Bach, earning for himself and the choir international acclaim through two concert tours to Russia (1953) and South America (1955). The year after this last tour, Ramin suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage and died on 27 February 1956.
Some of Ramin's recordings have been re-released on compact disc. Notable among them is his much admired (although severely abridged) 1941 version of Bach's St Matthew Passion, including as soloists Karl Erb, Tiana Lemnitz, and Gerhard Hüsch. He was also active as an organ teacher. Among his notable students were Christoph Albrecht, Karl Richter, Hanns-Martin Schneidt and Helmut Walcha.Hanns Kerrl
Hanns Kerrl (11 December 1887 – 15 December 1941) was a German Nazi politician. His most prominent position, from July 1935, was that of Reichsminister of Church Affairs. He was also President of the Prussian Landtag (1932–1934) and head of the Zweckverband Reichsparteitag Nürnberg and in that capacity edited a number of Nuremberg rally yearbooks.Juventudes de Acción Popular
The Juventudes de Acción Popular (JAP) was the youth wing of CEDA, a Spanish Catholic right-wing party in the 1930s.
The organisation was originally created as a branch of Acción Popular in 1933. Its founder and leader was José María Valiente Soriano. Expelled from CEDA and JAP in 1934 for his secret talks with Alfonso XIII, he was replaced by José María Perez de Laborda. JAP ceased to exist in 1937, following the Decreto de Unificación.
The JAP emphasized sporting and political activity. It had its own fortnightly paper, the first issue of which proclaimed: 'We want a new state.' The JAP's distaste for the principles of universal suffrage was such that internal decisions were never voted upon. As the thirteenth point of the JAP put it: 'Anti-parliamentarianism. Anti-dictatorship. The people participating in Government in an organic manner, not by degenerate democracy.' The line between Christian corporatism and fascist statism became very thin indeed.The fascist tendencies of the JAP were vividly demonstrated in the series of rallies held by the CEDA youth movement during the course of 1934. Using the title jefe (boss), the JAP created an intense and often disturbing cult around the figure of CEDA leader Gil Robles. Robles himself had returned from the Nuremberg rally in 1933 and spoken of its "youthful enthusiasm, steeped in optimism, so different to the desolate and enervating scepticism of our defeatists and intellectuals." JAP members wore green shirts and employed a salute that mimicked the fascist salute by raising the arm partway up.A history of the JAP has been published by Sussex Academic press.Kolmannen valtakunnan vieraana
Kolmannen Valtakunnan vieraana (Finnish: Guest of the Third Reich) is an essayistic book by Finnish writer Olavi Paavolainen based on his visit to Nazi Germany and the Nuremberg Rally in 1936.
Paavolainen, among a handful of other writers from the Nordic countries was invited to visit the Travemünde retreat of a German writers' group supported by the Nazi Government with the intention to promote its views amongst Nordic authors. The group took its visitors around Northern Germany to see sights that were considered beneficial for promoting the Nazi ideology. The visitors were also invited to the massive Nuremberg Rally, which Paavolainen seemed to found rather overwhelming, in regard to both ideological and aesthetical aspects, as it is discussed throughout the book.
Whilst in Germany, Paavolainen met Nazi politicians, writers, young enthusiasts, and intellectuals and attended an assembly of the female wing of NSDAP where Joseph Goebbels was addressing the female audience. In the book, Paavolainen described the female crowd with disdain and wrote in reference to Goebbels:
Kolmannen Valtakunnan vieraana was a major success, but it was also seen as ambiguous and was widely debated when it was published in December 1936.National Socialist Bloc
National Socialist Bloc (in Swedish: Nationalsocialistiska Blocket) was a Swedish national socialist political party formed in the end of 1933 by the merger of Nationalsocialistiska Samlingspartiet, Nationalsocialistiska Förbundet and local National Socialist units connected to the advocate Sven Hallström in Umeå. Later Svensk Nationalsocialistisk Samling merged into NSB.
The leader of the party was Colonel Martin Ekström. The party maintained several publications, Landet Fritt (Gothenburg), Vår Kamp (Gothenburg), Vår Front (Umeå), Nasisten (Malmö) and Riksposten.
NSB differentiated itself from other Swedish National Socialist groups due to its liaisons with the Swedish upper class. NSB was clearly smaller than the two main National Socialist parties in Sweden at the time, SNSP and NSAP. Gradually the party vanished.National Socialist Flyers Corps
The National Socialist Flyers Corps (German: Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps; NSFK) was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party that was founded 15 April 1937 as a successor to the German Air Sports Association; the latter had been active during the years when a German air force was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. The NSFK organization was based closely on the para-military organization of the Sturmabteilung (SA). A similar group was the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK).
During the early years of its existence, the NSFK conducted military aviation training in gliders and private airplanes. Friedrich Christiansen, originally a Generalleutnant then later a Luftwaffe General der Flieger, was NSFK Korpsführer from 15 April 1937 until 26 June 1943, followed by Generaloberst Alfred Keller until 8 May 1945.National Unity Party (Canada)
The Parti National Social Chrétien (English: National Social Christian Party) was a Canadian political party formed by Adrien Arcand in February 1934. The party identified with antisemitism, and German leader Adolf Hitler's Nazism. The party was later known, in English, as the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party or National Unity Party.Nuremberg Laws
The Nuremberg Laws (German: Nürnberger Gesetze) were antisemitic and racist laws in Nazi Germany. They were enacted by the Reichstag on 15 September 1935, at a special meeting convened during the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). The two laws were the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, which forbade marriages and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Germans and the employment of German females under 45 in Jewish households; and the Reich Citizenship Law, which declared that only those of German or related blood were eligible to be Reich citizens; the remainder were classed as state subjects, without citizenship rights. A supplementary decree outlining the definition of who was Jewish was passed on 14 November, and the Reich Citizenship Law officially came into force on that date. The laws were expanded on 26 November 1935 to include Romani people and Black people. This supplementary decree defined Romanis as "enemies of the race-based state", the same category as Jews.
Out of foreign policy concerns, prosecutions under the two laws did not commence until after the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Berlin. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, they began to implement their policies, which included the formation of a Volksgemeinschaft (people's community) based on race. Chancellor and Führer (leader) Adolf Hitler declared a national boycott of Jewish businesses on 1 April 1933, and the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, passed on 7 April, excluded non-Aryans from the legal profession and civil service. Books considered un-German, including those by Jewish authors, were destroyed in a nationwide book burning on 10 May. Jewish citizens were harassed and subjected to violent attacks. They were actively suppressed, stripped of their citizenship and civil rights, and eventually completely removed from German society.
The Nuremberg Laws had a crippling economic and social impact on the Jewish community. Persons convicted of violating the marriage laws were imprisoned, and (subsequent to 8 March 1938) upon completing their sentences were re-arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Nazi concentration camps. Non-Jews gradually stopped socialising with Jews or shopping in Jewish-owned stores, many of which closed due to lack of customers. As Jews were no longer permitted to work in the civil service or government-regulated professions such as medicine and education, many middle class business owners and professionals were forced to take menial employment. Emigration was problematic, as Jews were required to remit up to 90% of their wealth as a tax upon leaving the country. By 1938 it was almost impossible for potential Jewish emigrants to find a country willing to take them. Mass deportation schemes such as the Madagascar Plan proved to be impossible for the Nazis to carry out, and starting in mid-1941, the German government started mass exterminations of the Jews of Europe.The Immortals (neo-Nazis)
The Immortals (German Die Unsterblichen) was a neo-Nazi organization based in Germany that uses flash mobs to coordinate, gather and demonstrate. The members wear black clothing with white facial masks and carry torches when they march.The Victory of Faith
Not to be confused with the 1829 oratorio "Der Sieg des Glaubens" composed by Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) to libretto by Johann Baptist Rousseau (1802-1867).Der Sieg des Glaubens (English: The Victory of Faith, Victory of Faith, or Victory of the Faith) (1933) is the first propaganda film 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 film is of great historic interest because it shows Adolf Hitler and Ernst Röhm on close and intimate terms, before Röhm was shot on the orders of Hitler during the Night of the Long Knives on 1 July 1934. All known copies of the film were destroyed on Hitler's orders, and it was considered lost until a copy turned up in the 1990s in the United Kingdom.
The form of the film is very similar to her later and much more expansive film of the 1934 rally, Triumph of the Will. Der Sieg des Glaubens is Nazi propaganda for the Nazi Party, which funded and promoted the film, which celebrates the victory of the Nazis in achieving power when Hitler assumed the role of Chancellor of Germany in February 1933.Triumph of the Will
Triumph of the Will (German: Triumph des Willens) is a 1935 Nazi propaganda film directed, produced, edited, and co-written by Leni Riefenstahl. It chronicles the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, which was attended by more than 700,000 Nazi supporters. The film contains excerpts from speeches given by Nazi leaders at the Congress, including Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess and Julius Streicher, interspersed with footage of massed Sturmabteilung (SA) and Schutzstaffel (SS) troops and public reaction. Hitler commissioned the film and served as an unofficial executive producer; his name appears in the opening titles. The film's overriding theme is the return of Germany as a great power, with Hitler as the leader who will bring glory to the nation. Because the film was made after the 1934 Night of the Long Knives (on 30 June), many prominent Sturmabteilung (SA) members are absent—they were murdered in that Party purge, organised and orchestrated by Hitler to replace the SA with the Schutzstaffel (SS) as his main paramilitary force.
Triumph of the Will was released in 1935 and became a major example of film used as propaganda. Riefenstahl's techniques—such as moving cameras, aerial photography, the use of long focus lenses to create a distorted perspective, and the revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography—have earned Triumph of the Will recognition as one of the greatest propaganda films in history. Riefenstahl helped to stage the scenes, directing and rehearsing some of them at least fifty times. Riefenstahl won several awards, not only in Germany but also in the United States, France, Sweden and other countries. The film was popular in the Third Reich, and has continued to influence films, documentaries and commercials to this day. In Germany, the film is not censored but the courts commonly classify it as Nazi propaganda which requires an educational context to public screenings.An earlier film by Riefenstahl—The Victory of Faith (Der Sieg des Glaubens)—showed Hitler and SA leader Ernst Röhm together at the 1933 Nazi party congress. After Röhm's murder, the party attempted the destruction of all copies, leaving only one known to have survived in Britain. The direction and sequencing of images is almost the same as that Riefenstahl used in Triumph of the Will a year later.
Frank Capra's seven-film series Why We Fight is said to have been directly inspired by, and the United States' response to, Triumph of the Will.Völkisch movement
The völkisch movement (German: völkische Bewegung, "folkish movement") was the German interpretation of a populist movement, with a romantic focus on folklore and the "organic", i.e.: a "naturally grown community in unity", characterised by the one-body-metaphor (Volkskörper) for the entire population during a period from the late 19th century up until the Nazi era.