Saturday, August 21, 2010


The mystery photograph was taken in Nuremberg.

Within the last hour, and after more than a year of searching, I have located two black-and-white photographs depicting much the same scene.

And, while I was drafting this post, a kind reader by the name of Benjamin, in a comment on my earlier post, provided a link to yet another photograph of the same scene.

The year of the mystery photograph remains unknown, but it most certainly was taken in the 1930’s during one of the annual Nazi Party gatherings in that city.

The photograph below is from 1934. It obviously shows the same gabled building and the same medieval fountain shown in the mystery photograph.

The medieval fountain is much like medieval fountains all over Germany. My brother and I have visited Nuremberg, but my recollection—and the recollection of my brother, too—was that the medieval fountain in Nuremberg had been placed in the very center of the main town square, not at the edge of the square.

Our recollections were wrong—and I was able to end the query by searching for old photographs of the medieval fountain in Nuremberg, a search I initiated only after striking out when searching for photographs of medieval fountains in other German cities.

The photograph below is from 1935. It, too, shows the same gabled building and the same medieval fountain shown in the mystery photograph.

None of the buildings that ring the main town square survived the war—all were bombed out and burned out on the night of January 2, 1945—and none of the buildings was rebuilt in its pre-war fashion after the war. The current square, the site of Nuremberg’s famous Christmas Market, looks nothing like the square in the photographs.

During the Period Of National Socialism, the main town square in Nuremberg was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz. The name was dropped, quite naturally, as soon as American troops entered and occupied Nuremberg in mid-April 1945, ten days before Hitler’s suicide and almost three weeks before the war’s end.


  1. Everyone flunked--except my father (and Benjamin).

    My father reminded me, "I told you it was Nuremberg the first time you sent that to me, but you said it couldn't be Nuremberg because 'that medieval thing' was at the center of the plaza in Nuremberg, not at the edge."

    He is always right about everything.

  2. And, allow me to remind you . . .

    You did state that it definitely looked Bavarian . . .which it was.