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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# baltic beaches
Hitler's 3-mile-long abandoned Nazi resort is being transformed into a luxury getaway
Hitler ordered the construction of the massive ‘Prora’ complex in the 1930s – but it later fell into ruin.

THREE YEARS BEFORE Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Adolf Hitler ordered the construction of the world’s largest tourist resort, located on a beachfront property on the island of Rügen.

The Nazis called it Prora.

Capable of holding more than 20,000 residents at a single time, Prora was meant to comfort the weary German worker who toiled away in a factory without respite.

According to historian and tour guide Roger Moorhouse, it was also meant to serve as the carrot to the stick of the Gestapo — a warm, pacifying gesture to get the German people on Hitler’s side.

But then World War II began, and Prora’s construction stalled — until now.

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In 1936, Germany was still enmeshed in the concept of “people’s community,” or volksgemeinschaft, from World War I. It was a sense that Germans stood united, no matter what.

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While the Nazi police state was in development, the overarching German vision was presented as a hopeful one, according to Moorhouse. “And this is where something like Prora comes in.”

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Over the next three years, more than 9,000 workers erected a 2.7-mile-long building out of brick and concrete. Its practicality was dwarfed by its grandness. Moorhouse calls it “megalomania in stone”.

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“The photos cannot physically do it justice,” Moorhouse says. “It’s too big.” By all accounts, it would have been one of the most impressive structures in the world.

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But as the Third Reich began its devastating march through Europe, workers returned to their factories and Prora fell by the wayside.

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It became a shell of building, a failed Nazi dream left to decay for the next several decades …

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… until 2013, when German real estate company Metropole Marketing bought the rights to refurbish Prora and build it up as luxury summer homes and a full-time apartment complex.

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The new homes will take up several of the structure’s eight blocks, split between the Prora Solitaire Home and Prora Solitaire Hotel Apartments and Spa.

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Metropole expects to finish the entire restoration by the spring of 2016, though both the apartment units and summer homes are already for sale.

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If you’re looking to purchase a unit in the Hotel Apartments and Spa wing of Prora, you’ll need to shell out between €125,000 and €8oo,000.

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It all depends on how much space you’ll need.

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Penthouse suites, like the one above, will run on the pricier end

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More modest units will be less expensive.

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All beach-facing units will give residents sweeping views of the Baltic Sea.

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They can also take advantage of the complex’s spa and swimming pools, not to mention the extensive outdoor garden.

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While these amenities are certainly appealing, given the location’s history and its distance from Berlin — about three hours by car — Moorhouse has his doubts that people will want to spend time there.

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The structure, conceived right on the brink of global chaos, could end up flopping a second time, tainted by the history of its first failed vision.

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Or, it could thrive as a sprawling destination, in a world where the Nazi occupation seems increasingly far in the past.

- By Chris Weller 

Read: The tragically powerful story behind the lone German who refused to give Hitler the Nazi salute

Read: A Hitler mockumentary has touched a nerve in Germany

 

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