Consternation In Germany After An Abandoned Nazi Resort Becomes A Desired Upscale Destination

Seaside view of Prora
Seaside view of Prora

Very few of the areas and buildings patterned after ancient Rome commissioned by Adolf Hitler remained in Germany.

The country has struggled for years to erase or convert them. For example, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees was located in aged SS barracks in Nuremberg while the Nazi aviation building in Berlin became home to the German Finance Ministry.

The Ministry of Aviation, December 1938, today houses the German Finance Ministry. Photo Credit
The Ministry of Aviation, December 1938, today houses the German Finance Ministry. Photo Credit

The Berlin bunker where Hitler spent his final days was re-made into a parking space.

Usually, there’s little excitement or concern or no complaint about these renovations – until now – one government-sanctioned plan for a Third Reich edifice has triggered a public outcry — a commercial development of the largest Nazi relic on the shore of the Baltic Sea.

It’s a resort Hitler constructed between 1936 and 1939 along white, sandy beaches for middle-class Germans, one that was stupendous even by Nazi criteria: six-story high dormitories which are 550-yards wide were built side by side over 2.8 miles of unspoiled coastline on Ruegen, a northern island.

The foundation stone of the Prora resort was laid almost one century ago by then-Labour Front Chairman Robert Ley, who termed it a memorial to the German people and prophesized it would still be standing ten centuries in the future. The resort was run and owned by the Nazis’ “Strength Through Joy” leisure movement, a state-run organization charged with promoting the positives of National Socialism to the majority of middle-class German citizens.

When Hitler embarked on the project, it was intended as a holiday entertainment destination to house 20,000 of the Führer’s crowds at any one time. But unfortunately for them, not a single Nazi had the chance to stay there as it was uncompleted and Hitler and his men lost World War Two to the allies.

For the Nazis, relaxation was seen as another aspect of the citizens’ lives that the party had to govern. As a result, Prora was designed to be a harbinger of a series of such colossal camp sites. But unfortunately, the project could not go further because of Hitler’s ambition to fight against the world.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE