Nazi-era holiday camp sold

23rd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 September 2004 , ROSTOCK - The ruins of part of a former Nazi-era holiday complex was sold at auction Thursday for EUR 625,000 - five times the reserve price - to an unknown buyer. The Baltic Sea resort of Prora on the island of Ruegen was part of Hitler's so-called Strength Through Joy programme to keep Germans fit and healthy. Sprawling 4.5 kilometres along white-sand beaches, 77 hectares of the complex - around half - was up for sale by the German government in an auction of some 80 properties. Also

24 September 2004

ROSTOCK - The ruins of part of a former Nazi-era holiday complex was sold at auction Thursday for EUR 625,000 - five times the reserve price - to an unknown buyer.

The Baltic Sea resort of Prora on the island of Ruegen was part of Hitler's so-called Strength Through Joy programme to keep Germans fit and healthy.

Sprawling 4.5 kilometres along white-sand beaches, 77 hectares of the complex - around half - was up for sale by the German government in an auction of some 80 properties.

Also sold was a lake near the former Nazi V2 rocket plant at Peenemuende on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom which comes complete with a crashed British World War II Lancaster bomber.

The 43-hectare Koelpinsee lake went for the reserve price of 29,000 euros, said the auction house, Norddeutsche Grundstuecksauktionen AG.

Peenemuende was where the Nazi scientists developed the V1 and later the V2 rockets which were fired at targets in Britain and Belgium at the end of the war.

The Peenemuende facility was destroyed by British bombing raids in 1943 and it is assumed the Lancaster at the bottom of Koelpinsee lake was shot down during those raids.

Local politicians in Ruegen were against the sale of the Prora holiday site. Work on the complex began in 1936 but slowed in 1939 with the outbreak of war when Germany attacked Poland. Building was finally halted in 1943.

It was to house 20,000 vacationers in 8,000 rooms - all with views of the sea - as part of the Nazi programme to make soldiers fit for war and workers strong for production.

No holidaymakers ever stayed at Prora. Ironically, the only Germans to live in the half-built resort were refugees from bombed out cities and those fleeing the invading Soviet Red Army.

Russian troops sought to destroy the complex after the Nazi defeat in 1945 but only managed to blow up one of the main eight parts of the building.

The sweeping six-story concrete complex is situated on one of Ruegen's most beautiful beaches and was closed off to the public with barbed wire and sub-machine-gun armed guards as a military zone of communist East Germany.

Following German reunification in 1990 it was taken over by the federal government.

Saddled with this unwelcome legacy, officials had been scratching their heads for years over what to do with Prora which is under a historical preservation order.

Horst Schaumann, mayor of the nearby town of Binz, had said the local council would never approve new buildings on the site if an investor somehow managed to win approval to demolish the structure.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

 

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