Hitler’s Island Beach Resort in Germany Opens for Vacationers

Panoramic view of the KdF-House at sea bath Prora. Source: Dr. Schorsch (Georg Wiora) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 / R. Weber - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5. Wikipedia

The island of Rügen, Germany, has a three-mile-beach resort that was built by Adolf Hitler. Part of that resort is now a luxury holiday destination.

The Colossus of Prora boasts 10,000 rooms. It was built by Hitler as a vacation destination as part of his Strength Through Joy project. After WWII began in 1939, Hitler moved workers and other resources from Prora into the war effort.

But the resort never hosted workers from the Third Reich as Hitler had imagined. It was left to rot for many years before it was sold to investors more than a decade ago. One of the eight blocks in the complex has been opened to vacationers by Prora Solitaire.

Prora Solitaire opened one of the four blocks they own. An apartment in the complex costs between $356,000 and $735,000.

The new five-star apartments come with glossy interiors and glass balconies overlooking the sea. There is a spa and a restaurant on site as well.

“On one hand, there’s interest in maintaining it as a memorial, and on the other, there are the interests of the investors who have put a lot of money into this and want to see something for it,” he explained.

57 of the apartments have been purchased thanks to tax breaks at the historic site.

Some tenants have been moving in prior to the grand opening in October. There are plans to add a hotel and homes for senior citizens.

Prora was one of Hitler’s largest projects. It was designed to host up to 20,000 people. It included a cinema, banquet hall, swimming pools, and a meeting hall. Clemens Konz, one of Hitler’s chief architects, received credit for the design. It won an award at the 1937 Paris World Exposition.

As many as 9,000 workers were involved in the construction of the resort. Up to 600 forced laborers were used to help in the construction.

During the war, many refugees fled to Prora to find shelter. The Red Army later took over the resort and used it as a military base. The East German army occupied it next. The Red Army had intended to demolish the resort when they left, but they didn’t have enough explosives.

“Now the place is so lovely, visitors want to get back to nature and enjoy its beauty,” stated Manfred Hartwig, the spokesman of Metropole, one of the investors in Prora.

There is currently only one block on the market. One block was destroyed by the Soviets, and one block is up for sale, all the rest have been sold.

Ian Harvey

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