Preservation of the Historical Site
Aerial view of the historical site just before the end of the War, 1945
Allied aerial reconnaissance on 24th March 1945, an overview of the final construction of the areal
State Geo Information and Surveying Office Lower Saxony/Bomb Disposal Service, Hanover
Towards the end of the war in 1945 the main installations of the Festplatz (festival grounds) still remained: the lower speaker’s rostrum and the upper Ehrentribüne (honorary podium), the Mittelweg (central pathway), the five stairways from the east which surmounted the different levels in terrain and were up to twelve metres in height.
In 1945 the grounds – originally Prussian domain land – fell under the administration of the British military governing body, later the “Landesamtes für die Beaufsichtigung des gesperrten Vermögens” (State Office for the Supervision of Blocked Assets). The land was given back to the state of Lower Saxony as the rightful descendant of Prussia in 1953.
Due to the bad supply situation at that time, as early as 1945, the military governing body allowed the flat section of the grounds surrounding the speaker’s rostrum, approximately 30% of the whole area, to be used as agricultural land again.
The upper sloping terrain was not suitable for cultivation due to its bad soil quality. It was extensively used as grazing land meaning that the original shape of the rally area with the Mittelweg (central pathway) and the concrete foundations of the upper stand remained intact. Anything that could be remotely used – the wood of the stairways and the Ehrentribüne (honorary rostrum) along with electric wiring and water pipes – “disappeared” in the times of need in the post-war years.
Plans from the 1950s to build a clinic or a kiosk with a view over the areal were not followed any further for no apparent reason. A certain timidity when dealing with the areal was and is perceptible.