Germany is embroiled in a controversy over a monumental Nazi-era holiday resort on the German island of Ruegen that is to be opened to holidaymakers for the first time.
The giant complex of hotels in the Prora resort on the country’s biggest island in the Baltic Sea was designed to house 20,000 tourists as part of Adolf Hitler’s Strength Through Joy program to keep the German nation healthy.
The construction of the mammoth project began in 1936 but was abandoned in 1943 due to the war, and the five six-storey concrete buildings on Ruegen’s beautiful sandy beach were never opened to the public.
Now, the local government has teamed up with an investor group to initiate a 100,000-euro-makeover of the decaying complex and turn it into a modern holiday resort.
The announcement, which follows years of debates, has sparked controversy, with critics accusing the government of neglecting its responsibility by giving the property to private investors.
Juergen Rostock, chairman of the foundation New Culture that promotes ethics in dealing with historic monuments, deemed the project “scandalous” as it aimed at organising entertainment at a historic site.
“Prora stands for a perfidious social policy with which the Nazis intended to bring the entire population into line. Organising entertainment there is what the ‘Strength Through Joy’ program envisaged,” Mr Rostock said.