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SHARKHUNTERS International
2011 Southern Patrol
- Nürnberg!

The City of the Party Rallies

Join us as we visit old friends and make new friends in this beautiful and historic part of the world.  As always, we begin in the little village of Schwaig just outside of München for our first day, our first evening and our 'Welcome Dinner'.  We go to the very best restaurant in this village!  It is also the only restaurant in the village so being best here is pretty easy.

 
Nadia is always happy to see COOPER at her restaurant.   The village 'wimple'
     
 
Time to eat!  Hungry Sharkhunters want food!   Next to the village 'Wimple'
     
 
Sharkhunters Founder & President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) takes one last moment to relax before we get started   USMC combat veteran BILL NAPIER (2290-C/LIFE-1992)
is looking forward to another great 'Patrol'

When our 'Patrol' was finished, BILL NAPIER (2290-C/LIFE-1992) had this to say about his experience:
"I had a fantastic time and my most vivid memory is meeting the old veterans.  The 'Patrol' exceeded my expectations - it was so much fun.  I enjoyed seeing old friends and made new friends also."

Okay, we have seen Schwaig and had a great meal - now we move on to a large and extremely historic city - Nürnberg!

   
We walk through one of the medieval gates    
     
 
Our HQ hotel is right near the Hauptbahnhof   During our walking tour of the old city, this church
dominates the city center.
     
 
     
 
In the old city market   Playing old Beatle songs - they were pretty good!
     
 

Some enjoy the beauty of the city while others

 

protest - we don't know what, but they protest something.

     
 
     
 
Walking through altstadt Nürnberg - a beautiful city   We pass more protesters as we enter city hall
     
 
     

Another protest group - several groups actually, protesting various things and maybe even protesting other protesters; we don't know but from the miniscule number of people on hand nobody cared much.

We listened to the music - great American rock music they played over their little portable CD player......then we went on to important places in this beautiful city, filled with history.

ED GABRIELSON (4872-LIFE-1996) had this to say about this tour;
"I had a fantastic time!  Most vivid memory of this 'Patrol' was Nürnberg with MICHAEL KAISER (6066-LIFE-2000).

 
     
 
     
Just inside one of the huge gates, we walk back centuries in time    
 
    With each step, we move further back in time......
     
 
.....and we find this five-centuries old winestube.   Looking through these windows, are we looking into a time machine?


DONATIONS

So far, Sharkhunters has donated:
     $6,500 to the German Submarine Memorial;
     $4,000 to the restoration of Großadmiral Dönitz's grave;
     $2,500 to the German U-Boat Archive;
     $2,000 to German historian Manfred Roeder.



der STURMER!
Julius Streicher was Gauleiter here and he owned the newspaper 'der STURMER' which was stridently anti-Jewish.  Too many times when Jewish holdings were confiscated by the State, they wound up in Streicher's possession.  He was relieved of his power but because he was a friend of Hitler's, he was not punished.  We were able to walk around his mansion, which is now used by the local newspaper as the offices for their advertising sales personnel.  Streicher almost got away, but in a fluke was identified, taken into custody, tried at Nürnberg and executed.

 

In this bass relief on his mansion, it shows an ancient German slaying

 

the three-headed Hydra, said to represent the Jews

     
 


ED GABRIELSON (4872-LIFE-1996) added:
"It was a great trip Harry.  I enjoyed talking racing."

EDITOR NOTE - ED was a big fan of stock car racing, and HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) drove the high banks for some years.

     
   
     

Now we move on into the historic places in this beautiful city, thanks to our friend there MICHAEL KAISER (6066-LIFE-2000).

 
USMC combat veteran BILL NAPIER (2290-C/LIFE-1992)
takes a photo of the Luftwaffe Memorial
  This was initially a Memorial to the WW ILuftwaffe; the WW II
Luftwaffe was added on or the Memorial could not have stood.
     
 
The Memorial where Hitler would march during the Party Congress during the ceremony remembering those who were killed in action.   Inside the Memorial looking out over the parade grounds.
     
 
The inscription on the rear wall   SID AUST (5433-2006) inside the Memorial
     

We now move onward to the massive

 

Congresshalle, four times bigger than the Coliseum!

 
     
 
In this diorama by MICHAEL KAISER (6066-LIFE-2000) we see
how the huge cathedral in the city would fit inside this courtyard.
   
     
 

Construction was halted when the war began to turn for Germany and the facility was never finished.  The rooms today are used as storage for many functions of the government, schools etc.  There are plans to update and finish the construction to use it for more offices.

Shameful Chapter in History
The facility was used as a makeshift hospital at the end of the war and when the U.S. Army took over Nürnberg, there were 17 SS soldiers here, recovering from battle wounds.  The U. S. Army pulled them from their sickbeds, hauled them into the courtyard here and without trial or due process, just shot them dead.

 
Hitler had his own door at the other side of the Congresshalle   The view over the lake is magnificent.
     
 

It required many doors to get more than 100,000 people in and out

 

quickly as we see along the outer corridor.


Not Much Longer!
For years, we have been privileged to go into the 'Golden Room' inside the stadium at Zeppelnfeld where Hitler held private receptions but as we see in these photos, this historic place is falling apart.  Let's take a look inside.

 

We take great care to walk through the gate and under the

 

scaffolding to enter the 'Gold Room'.

     


Compare this photo of the golden inlaid ceiling taken in September 2011 against the same photo shot in September 2008 to the right.  Mold is beginning to cover this magnificent work and in about five years it will have to be taken down and we will no longer be able to see it.

 
     
 
One of the two massive braziers that flanked the stadium.  The other sits outside and has recently been recovered - it was being used as a kiddie swimming pool in a town park!   Part of the group at one end of the Golden Room while others still wandered.  We could go up the stairs to Hitler's suite of offices because the place is beginning to crumble.
     
 
Streicher had his own room, but the purpose of these two photos
is to show how the building itself is beginning to crumble.
  Major cracks are appearing in the building and that
will spell the doom of this entire structure.
     
   
NOT MUCH LONGER!  The place where BILL NAPIER (2290-C/LIFE-1992) will be torn down in the next couple years.    

We are informed that the two wings of the stadium will be removed in the next few years because they are crumbling and there is no money to make the repairs.  We are told that it will take some €70,000,000 to repair and save the structure.  The city if Nürnberg doesn't have that money, the state of Bavaria and the German Federal Government do not appear to have any interest in spending that kind of money to repair the structure so in just a few years, more history will disappear.  These photos are edged in black because this will soon be gone.

Soon there won't be much of this historic structure remaining.  Time and lack of maintenance will win.  We estimate that in five years, this will all look a lot different - a real loss to history.

Time for Lunch

We walk across the parking lot from the rear entrance to the stadium, to the railway station where Hitler always arrived.  It is now a nice restaurant and a nice break to the day.

 

EZIO MAIOLINI (7226-2007) checks out some of the old

 

paintings on the wall in the hallway to the ticket booth.

     

We enjoy a great lunch in the railroad station where we can see the old suitcases and other baggage of all types stacked along the racks as if they were waiting for their owners to appear out of the mists of history.

ED GABRIELSON (4872-LIFE-1996) and his wife Thelma were with us and Thelma tells us;
"We had a fantastic time!  Most memorable was the time we spent with MICHAEL KAISER (6166-LIFE-2000); well worth the trip.  He was very gracious to give of his time to be with the 'Patrol'.  I realize that he is a historian, but his knowledge was amazing as was his English.
     The best part was the booklet he had that showed pictures of the past and then to look at the site we were standing on to see the present was quite a comparison.  The many sites we saw, including places other visitors would not be able to see, will be something I will remember always.  I have been to Nürnberg before but the memory from this trip topped that trip by far."

 
     
 


Off to the First Tower Museum
A former air raid shelter tower has been taken over by our friend MICHAEL KAISER and turned into a fantastic military museum.

 
We are welcomed at this unique museum.   After the war, it was a makeshift apartment building.
     
   
     
     
 

The sign reads;  "Off limits to all military personnel"

Immediately after the war, the U.S. forces began rounding up the "working girls" and housing them here in order to reform their thinking and so it was necessary to keep them away from the American G.I.'s who were there former clients.

Let's look below at some of the incredible artifacts in this museum.

     
 
     
 
     
 
Handmade shoes in POW camp.    
     
 
     
 
     
 
    They went out of their way to make our group welcome.
     
 

What a great museum, eh?  Now we go on to another great tower museum, also not open to the public.  This is housed in a city tower that was built sometime in the 14th century.  We did not take many photos inside but the view from the top turret overlooking the ancient city defensive wall was great!

 

We then set out on foot for the walk of about 400 meters to our dinner place.  This restaurant serves only one entree - Nürnberg sausages.  They are tiny but very rich and here is the reason they are so small - in medieval times, the Emperor was coming to Nürnberg and since he was always traveling, he would order the town he was visiting to prepare a certain number of meals.  And so when the Emperor was coming to Nürnberg and the order was given for a certain number of sausages to be prepared, the crafty cooks made the required number of sausages, but made them very small to save on their cost but made them very rich so a person could not eat so many.

Incidentally, this restaurant is the oldest serving these sausages........it opened for business some ninety years BEFORE Christopher Columbus set out for the New World!  Come with us and enjoy this great food and ancient tradition.

 

For an interesting side tour, we walked through this section where

 

the walls were red and so were the lights outside the shops.....

    I'll bet you can figure this out - no photos though!
     
 
We have arrived.   The same interior as in 1420.
     
 

The food is great and

 

and the chef is blazing away!

     

OOPS!  Although it appears that the waitress is going to let ED
 GABRIELSON (4872-LIFE-1996)
know that she is not happy
with the amount of his tip and he appears a bit apprehensive, it is
not that way.  It is just an interesting angle on a photograph.

ED does look nervous though..........
ED GABRIELSON (4872-LIFE-1996) - his wife Thelma said;
"We must keep Nürnberg in the 'Patrol' next year & add one day."

EDITOR NOTE - Okay, we have talked with MICHAEL and there will be one more full day in Nürnberg.

 

Off to enjoy more of Nürnberg the next day.............

 

You just cannot take a bad photo here in Nürnberg -

 

you just can't.  This is a beautiful city.

     
 
The court building.  The part in which we find Room 600, where
the Nürnberg Tribunals were held, is off to the right of this photo.
  Sharkhunters Founder & President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) talks with the Museum Director while Thelma Gabrielson looks on.


Off to another great restaurant in Nürnberg for lunch.

 

Three veterans enjoying lunch;
   HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983), U.S. Air Force
   BILL NAPIER (2290-C/LIFE-1992), USMC in Vietnam
   MANFRED THORN (new Member), 1st SS

  Hazel Thorn and RICH delFAVRO (1495-LIFE-1990)
     
 




All our Members came away with a copy of MANFRED THORN's book on his life with the 1st SS during the war and into POW camp.  He was with Peiper's group at Malmedy, stood trial and was found totally innocent of any and all charges.  He talks about this in his book, but also has bitter memories of the treatment he got in American captivity.  We think we will be able to make his book available to Members soon.

     
 

Another 'old timer' has

 

a million stories to tell.

     

After lunch, we were treated to a very special

 

tour of the city hall of Nürnberg

 
This chandelier is from the Thirty Years War   The 'common people' stood behind this partition
     
 
The main assembly room   MICHAEL explains how this building was rebuilt after the war
     

Wars were determined and treaties confirmed by huge dinners in

 

this very room.  Hitler spoke to the leaders here as well.

Really, really sad news!

During the war years, a huge air raid bomb shelter was built beneath Nürnberg for protection of the civilian populace during air raids.  When the war ended, a huge amount of this city lay in ruins but people needed shelter, so this complex was converted into an underground hotel.  Join us for this exclusive tour - it is the very LAST time ever!

 
The entrance - but not much longer.   MICHAEL explains the bunker construction
     
 
One of the diesel engines that produced the electricity.   And this is one of the electrical control boards.
     
 
Fuel from this tank fed that diesel motor.   Who lived in Zimmer Nr. 13?
     
 

Murals on the walls reminded the people of what once

 

was........and what they hoped for again.

     
 

The last time we will ever see these bunkers

 

because they are going to be filled in within the year.

For whatever reason, these bunkers will be filled in within the next twelve months and this piece of history will be gone forever, and that is why these photographs are all shrouded in black.  Those of us who were here over several 'Patrols' have many photos while those who did not join us missed a great time walking in the footsteps of history.

It is with a sad heart that we spend our last hours in Nürnberg.  We take a last walk around the city center this final evening here.

 

In the marketplace by the old church,

 

Enjoying goodies in the street stalls

     
 

Down this ancient passageway for

 

our final meal in Nürnberg.

  .............and our final stroll through old Nürnberg - for this year;
but you can be sure - the Sharkhunters will be back in 2012!
     

Okay, so I like ice cream for my last meal in Nürnberg - with warm raspberries and whipped cream.  It's called a 'heiße liebe' - translation; hot love.  Works for me.............

 


Tomorrow morning we will be on the road again, heading south into the majestic Alps and down to southern Austria.  We cannot leave this ancient and historic city without a huge and heartfelt
"VIELEN DANK!" to our good friend MICHAEL KAISER (6166-2000) for taking his own time from his busy work to show us his city.  He was a great guide and is a good friend - thanks again, my friend.

CONGRATULATIONS!  MICHAEL is now the personal assistant to the Chief Mayor in Nürnberg AND - he held the rank of Hauptmann (Captain) in the German Army Reserves for a long time, but due to the involvement in Afghanistan, he jumped to Major then in no time at all, was promoted to the rank of Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) and is now a Battalion Commander.  Way to go MICHAEL!

Let's continue our 'Patrol' and click on the photo below - yep, more food.  We have always said that it is impossible to get a bad meal or a bad beer here, and impossible to take a bad photo.

Click the photo and let's head south into Österreich (Austria).



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