The Nuremberg Rallies

by Chloe Bambrick

The Nuremberg Rally was the annual rally of the Nazi Party in Germany, held from 1923 to 1938. They were large Nazi propaganda events, especially after 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, the most famous of which is Triumph of the Will which was made by Leni Riefenstahl, and is now known as one of the greatest forms of propaganda to date.

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 The first Nazi Party rallies took place in 1923 in Munich and in 1926 in Weimar. From 1927 on, they were held exclusively in Nuremberg. Nuremberg was selected for pragmatic reasons: It was situated in the center of the German Reich and the local Luitpoldhain was well suited as a venue. In addition, the Nazis were able to rely on the well organized local branch of the party in Franconia. The Nuremberg police were sympathetic to the event. Later, the location was justified by putting it into the tradition of the Imperial Diet (German Reichstag) of the Holy Roman Empire, considered to be the First Reich. After 1933, the rallies were held near the time of the Autumn equinox, under the title of “National Congress of the Party of the German People” 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.

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The primary aspect of the Nuremberg Rallies was to strengthen the personality cult of Adolf Hitler, portraying him as Germany’s saviour, chosen by providence. The gathered masses listened to the Führer’s speeches, swore loyalty and marched before him. Representing the Volksgemeinschaft as a whole, the rallies served to demonstrate the might of the German people. The visitors of the rallies by their own free will were subordinate to the discipline and order in which they should be reborn as a new people.

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Adolf Hitler in the crowd at Nuremberg Rallies.