Germany Debates New Life for a Behemoth of the Nazi Era
PRORA, Germany — Three years before the outbreak of World War II, Adolf Hitler’s lieutenants ordered the construction of what was portrayed as a remarkable perquisite for the toiling masses of the Third Reich — a vacation complex along the Baltic coast with 10,000 sea-view rooms in eight identical six-story blocks of steel-reinforced concrete, each one the length of five football fields.
Even by the standards of Nazi monumentalism and social engineering, the plan was ambitious. Every block would have its own restaurant, catering to 2,500 people per meal, divided into two sittings. Every week, 20,000 workers from the industrial powerhouses of Nazi Germany would be brought here under a program called Strength Through Joy to prepare themselves mentally and physically to fulfill Hitler’s dreams.
With some justification, people still call the five surviving blocks — strung along a pristine sandy beach — the Colossus of Prora.
But unlike in Hitler’s day, when the ostensible purpose of the edifice was clear enough, the question for a new Germany is: What do you do with a Nazi relic that is too big and too laden with symbolism to destroy, but too enormous to be easily put to use?...
comments powered by Disqus
- Most Millennials Resist the ‘Millennial’ Label
- Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers – and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting
- China military parade commemorates WW2 victory over Japan
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- AHA President Vicki L. Ruiz named National Humanities Medalist
- Historians of Color Are Revolutionizing the Narrative of ‘American Exceptionalism’
- Henry VIII voted worst monarch in history
- The Fuhrer style: Historian says press coverage of Hitler’s lavish life fueled his rise to power
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis