NUREMBERG - THE CITY THAT MEANS A LOT TO ME (10/21/12)
Most people when they hear the word Nuremberg - think about the Nuremberg trials. I love the people, the Bavarian food and music, the culture, the many landmark buildings, and the general way the City and surrounding areas were planned.
In the early 1970s the population of Nuremberg was not as large as it is today. I noticed this in all the Cities I visited in Europe - Rome, Florence, Vienna - Nuremberg too, has fallen prey to an increase in population - and many immigrants vying to survive and make a decent living.
When in Nuremberg I did not live in the City this time but chose to live on the outskirts; at the Hilton - not so far from the main Railway Station. The Hilton in Nuremberg is a nice place to stay; the breakfast is superb among other amenities offered - and it is next to Nuremberg's well known FCN soccer team.
I went to the FCC football store and bought a few souvenirs for my good friends. While I was there the Nigerian National Youth Soccer were preparing for some World Soccer Tournament. It was nice to note the FCN offering their first class facilities to the Nigerian Nation Youth team. This type of cooperation make the world a better - place.
The gobble stones of Nuremberg much like Vienna, Rome, Florence play a role more during winter. While in Nuremberg the light rain slowed my walking on these rather slippery cobble stones. It is amazing to see women with high heel shoes walk on these stones. The locals used to the unevenness; balance themselves and can walk fast - something the tourist marvel at.
The Cathedrals stare at you in Nuremberg as they do in all the major cities. The influence of Christianity - Catholics and Protestants after the Reformation vied for souls. Not anymore; on any given Sunday attendance at Church is at a minimum and the young want action, less promises and more fulfillments when it comes to Quality of Life issues. Less talk of greed and more of sharing and peace.
In the year 1970s a few decades after World War II - the many Jews who lived in Germany were reduced to even fewer. Today, more of them are returning and mention of this made in subtle tones; mainly of places that once were notably prominent Jewish locations - prompting tourists to take notice and take photographs for future remembrances.
The last time around in Nuremberg - a young Jewish girl befriended me - and I learned a lot from her. At first she was shy to reveal to me her true identity. Slowly she became my confidant - as we would go to a nice coffee shop with some other younger youth - who spoke little English - she on the other hand could speak better English and we got to know each other and the world better.
From her deep conversations I learned every Zionist is a Jew but not every Jew is a Zionist. It was difficult for her, at times - to discuss the past; our friendship did not deter her to be frank. I encouraged that and understood better a perspective I was privileged to be aware of and appreciate ñ better.
This Jewish girl kind of kept close to me and those few that taunted her - knew better. The time came for me to leave for Rome in the early 1970s; I told her of my departure - and she became despondent. I told her my other friends; who knew her would support her. She corresponded with me for some years; got married and that was the end of that relationship.
I visited the place I stayed in Nuremberg in the early 1970s. There were so many memories and I made sure photographs were taken so that I could at my leisure look and them and remember, better the past. It is amazing how the brain can bring memories. Once I strayed a little further in the early 1970s; further than I wanted and it was snowing. I wear a brace and it was late and I had to get home.
Three or four feet of snow and I had not seen anything like this at close quarters. Snow gathering more and more; there was no way I could get out of this mess; without help. I mean someone had to literally carry me, to my place of residence which I could see; some one hundred feet away; but no way could reach, with all this snow around and more accumulating every minute.
I managed to talk to a German police man and told him my plight. The narrow streets made of cobble stones - mostly permit just walking when it snows. The policeman told me to get on his back and piggy backed me to my residence. I reached the spot where he offered me the ride; on this recent trip - a burst of emotions overwhelmed me. I became very quiet and those around me notice this drastic change.
While is Nuremberg I stayed with the Jesuits with whom I was associated and owe my early training and education; much of which helped me for many years; working for the Department of Defense and today dealing with the many issues at City Hall and all over the United States - linked with Quality of Life issues, mainly environmental in nature.
I made sure I contacted Father Joe Ubelmesser, a Jesuit - we sat down spoke about my early days in Nuremberg. Other pertinent stuff much of which was videotaped; we covered a lot of topics and this was the highlight of my visit to Nuremberg. We met 32 years later and you can imagine the joy it brought to my heart meeting this Jesuit priest a phenomenon among the Jesuits of the area; who has touched so many souls. The man is simple yet very profoundly - humble.
Nuremberg; as you can imagine has played a key role in the history of Germany and its noble people - more Bavaria - an area famous for its food, music, and deep, genuine; German culture. Nuremberg offers walking tours and I have included some photographs that give you a sense of how it feels, the very ancient and the contemporary.
Nuremberg for me was one of the highlights of my tour. I found it sobering and I also found it begging me to come again; which I will when I can take a break. Enjoy the photographs:
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