I had 20 minutes between trains, between the banjaxed one that limped into the station, and the next healthy one that was going to whisk me the rest of the way to München. Twenty minutes in Nuremberg. Enough to make the hastiest formed impressions ever, to jump to wild conclusions based on nothing more than a perfunctory glance.
Nuremberg is famous of course for the rallies Hitler and his buddies used to hold here in the good ol’ days. There were trials too afterward, but I think one of history’s lasting impressions is of thousands of people uniformly paying homage to an evil demented fucker who wanted to wipe out all but what he considered the cream of humanity’s crop.
So I had this in my mind as I disembarked the train. I’d also just found out on the way down that the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn may have opened their first German office in Nuremberg, so perhaps this influenced my thinking too.
I didn’t get far from the Hauptbahnhof, given that I was hungry and I had to pick up a Brötchen too. I looked around, half-expecting brownshirts with red armbands to be wandering around. They weren’t.
But I did get a particularly Nazi vibe from the place, not so much from the people, who looked normal and no more right-wing than they do in other German cities, but from the buildings – especially the train station building* itself – which seemed to practically scream “NAZIIIIII!”
As I said, 20 minutes ain’t a lot. Perhaps my impressions are unfair. I rushed back to the platform for my connecting train, grabbing a Swastika Brötchen on the way. I’ll return, one day, to Nürnberg for a closer look.
*The Digital Cosmonaut reliably informs me in the comments below that the train station "pre-dates the nazis by about 100 years." Still, it's Naziesqe. No wonder they liked the place so much.