Amidst the some 80,000 people who filled Nuremberg, Germany’s main exhibition hall recently for the city’s annual Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair, Jewish visitors got a special treat from organizers and members of the local Jewish community: They were able to publicly read from the Torah in the actual square that hosted Nazi party rallies during the days of the Third Reich.

According to Chabad-Lubavitch of Nuremberg director Rabbi Eliezer Chitrik, who has been running programs at the toy fair from a rented conference room for the past five years, hundreds of vendors – many of them, German toy companies – also donated toys, children’s furniture and games to his center and other Jewish institutions throughout the city. But it was the Torah reading, he said, that meant so much to visitors.

“We had a lot of comments from Jews who participated in the fair who were afraid to even tell their parents or grandparents that they were doing business in Germany,” said Chitrik, who provided kosher meals and prayer services throughout the fair. “They didn’t want to bring up bad memories, especially since the fair was being held in Nuremburg. But now they can share with their families all the positive things they can say about Jewish life here.”

More than 20 people attended each of the daily prayer services during the Feb. 3 to 8 exhibition, said the rabbi, and more than 100 took part in the Friday night Shabbat dinner. The Torah reading in the exhibition hall took place on a Thursday afternoon.

Looking back on the event, Chitrik, whose Chabad House also caters to Jewish military personnel at the nearby U.S. Army base, said that he’s heard stories of life-changing experiences happening at, of all places, the local toy fair.

“A friend of mine in China told me that there is a guy in his community who comes every Shabbat now,” explained the rabbi. “He said that his commitment to Shabbat started here at the toy fair. He said that if one can keep Shabbat in Nuremburg, one can keep it anywhere.”