German Youth Hostel Opens in Giant Former Nazi Resort


It was taken over by the Soviet and then East German military and was out of bounds to the public until 1990. Today, it houses a museum about the site's history, a ramshackle restaurant and a disco. Most of its 6,500 rooms stand empty. The sea wind whistles through its broken windows.

The place testifies to Hitler's megalomania. A festival hall for 20,000 people was planned but never built. It was to have two piers big enough for ocean liners, swimming pools with wave generators, shops, a school, a power station, hospital and even ultra-modern solarium halls with infrared lamps.

It looks like an endless phalanx of forbidding government ministries rather than a holiday resort. But the design won an award at the 1937 Paris World Exhibition for the idea of a mass tourism and its modern architecture of steel-reinforced concrete, which has withstood the rough sea climate.

Four of the 500-meter blocks were sold to private investors between 2004 and 2006. The portion housing the youth hostel was bought by the local authority and refurbished for €15.1 million.

Investors plan to convert parts of the building into a hotel and apartments. A further block has been put up for sale. The minimum asking price is €500,000.

cro -- with wire reports

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