chapter  5
21 Pages

ACCOMPANIED WITNESSING: Education, art and alibis

By the end of the 1980s there was agreement in Nuremberg across the main political parties that the city needed to expand its educational provision about the Nazi past in general and about the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in particular. As one of the authors of an SPD paper about the future of the site explained in an interview: ‘We do not want to leave people alone with their emotions and impressions of this monument (Denkmal ), but want, rather, to explain it there and then’.1 This felt need to ‘accompany’ visitors as they encountered the site was an effect of seeing it as having a power to ‘fascinate’ or ‘enthral’. Such a way of seeing had been increasingly articulated in the years following its designation as heritage; no longer was this perception restricted to swastikas. In the 1980s, material qualities such as the size of the buildings, their distinctive architecture and even their signs of decay were accorded significance and potential agency; and, as we saw in the previous chapter, attention was increasingly paid to trying to tackle this agency. Two further important negotiating tactics employed were education and art.