More than 70 citizens of Nuremberg, Germany, are in Atlanta this week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the sister city relationship with Atlanta, a bond centered on the struggle for human rights.
The Nuremberg visit coincides with the 60-year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
Both Atlanta and Nuremberg are symbols of the human rights movement, said Teri Simmons, who chairs the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission.
Atlanta was the headquarters of the U.S. civil rights movement and the home of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1933, Adolph Hitler declared Nuremberg the future “city of party rallies.” At one such rally in 1935, the “Law for the Protection of German Blood” was enacted. It prohibited marriage between Jews and Germans.
After World War II, Nuremberg was the host of war crime trials. Since then it has focused heavily on human rights , its mayor, Ulrich Maly, told GlobalAtlanta in an interview. It has a museum on the Nazi past in an unfinished meeting hall that Hitler had planned for the city.
Every two years Nuremberg issues a human rights award.
“After the war, we [asked] what shall we do with this kind of history?” Mr. Maly said. “We looked back and decided we had to show what happened. We made a huge documentation center where young people are shown how it was from the beginning of Nazi times to the Second World War.”
Atlanta is currently developing a Center for Civil and Human Rights adjacent to Centennial Park.
Mr. Maly and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin scheduled several joint appearances this week, including a wreath-laying ceremony Nov. 30 at Dr. King’s grave.
Nuremberg is one of Atlanta’s 18 sister cities, said Ms. Simmons. Other cities include Lagos, Nigeria, and Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
“Nuremberg is one of our most active relationships,” said Ms. Simmons, a partner with Arnall Golden Gregory LLP law firm.
The sister city program is designed to encourage business links as well as cultural ties, said Ms. Simmons.
Markus M. Lötzsch, executive officer of the Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce is on the Atlanta trip as are executives from Nürnberg Messe, a German trade show company.