After the Machtergreifung (Nazi seizure of power) in 1933, the Reichsparteitage or party rallies became an annual ritual, attracting massive numbers of participants and hangers-on. A vast, self-glorifying Parteitagsgelände (party rally ground) was therefore planned, and though much of it – including the colossal Deutsches Stadion, which would have accommodated 400,000 spectators – was never built, what survives gives a powerful impression of the gigantism that was designed, in part, to shrink the role of the individual into insignificance and to create an overwhelming experience for the participants that appealed to the emotions, not to reason. The rallies had a wider audience too, for during the 1930s many foreign newspapers sent reporters to cover the event. Leni Riefenstahl (the regime’s favoured documentary-maker) used a crew of 170 and some ground-breaking camera techniques to record the 1934 rally for her film The Triumph of the Will; the crowning event of the 1935 rally was the special session of the Reichstag convened in Nuremberg to pass the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived sh…

29 Mar 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
10 of the best European city breaks

10 of the best European city breaks

In this article sponsored by Scenic Australia, Emma Gibbs picks 10 of the best city breaks across Europe. Europe is so crammed full of fascinating, vibrant c…

01 Dec 2015 • Emma Gibbs insert_drive_file Article
Discover Berlin's biggest bathtub: the Baltic Sea

Discover Berlin's biggest bathtub: the Baltic Sea

Carved balconies like lace, swaggering villas in spacious gardens and an absurdly long pier. Who would have expected “Herring Village” to be so glitzy? I…

08 Oct 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month