Monday, September 5, 2016

European Adventure Part II ~ Nuremburg

Second stop of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2016 European Tour:  Nuremberg, Germany.

Performance in the Meistersingerhalle.

Beautiful, peaceful park that was once Hitler's Nazi parade grounds.
photo credit

Such a beautiful park, now!

 Hitler's Nazi Colosseum

While at this venue, I heard an interesting story of a choir member whose father was imprisoned in this very place during World War II.  She later wrote it out and shared a picture of her father. 
"I'm so grateful to have visited Nuremberg! For some who may not know, the Meistersingerhalle was located within the compound area where the Nazi party was first organized and held their large rallies. My Dad's prison camp was also in the area.
My Dad was a sharp shooter in the US army and captured on the first day of the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. He endured 11 days of transport (the worst time of his life), marching and in packed boxcars with about two days worth of food. With his clothing taken, He was required to stand outside in the freezing cold the entire Christmas Day. He finally ended up at the prison camp in Nuremberg near the stadium which had about 30k prisoners. He was especially appalled at the treatment of the Russian prisoners. He was forced to work in the bombed rubble of the city burying the dead. He happened on some silverware (including some knives) that he took and hid. Someone ratted on him for having it and he was put into solitary for 13 weeks awaiting trial. He was finally taken to the later famous courthouse in Nuremberg and waited all day for a trial where he fully expected to receive a death sentence. Thankfully, news was swirling of liberation and he was sent back to camp at the end of the day without a trial. He was liberated in April after about 4 months of imprisonment and witnessed the explosion of the Nazi swastika in the Nuremberg stadium . He's passed away now and as you can imagine, I felt my dad very near during that visit and at our concert.  He often spoke about his sacrifice and his pleasure to know that he helped to protect our freedom to sing to the world!"

photo source Belinda Jensen
During our sound check, choir guests were able to wander the cobbled streets of Old Nuremberg.  Bombed out during the war, the city is renewed in charm and culture.



Meanwhile, back at the Meistersingerhalle, with sound check complete, we were treated to a delicious dinner, finished with Bavarian cream and a delicious "crisp apple streudel", then it was time for our performance to a sold-out crowd.


Here is a nice summary of our Nuremberg concert, along with a sample of an audience favorite that evening, "The Spirit of God."  Performances at historic Nuremberg

When our European audiences leap to their feet in applause, then begin clapping in unison, that is an indication of a strong sign of approval!  We witnessed this phenomenon in several of our concerts throughout Germany, and left with two encore numbers, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and God Be With You, sung in their own language, "Gott Sei Mit Euch."  We could see people wiping the tears from their eyes.  I blinked back a few tears of my own. 

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