Relics of the Reich – how Germany is dealing with the buildings left by the Nazis

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tags: Hitler, Brexit



Some of the rhetoric from Brexiters during the EU referendum campaign raises the spectre of an all-powerful Germany dominating a European super state with thinly veiled references to the Nazi period often part of the narrative.

In reality most Germans are super-sensitive to any accusations of European domination and the country agonises over its Nazi past. Nazi architecture is one aspect of that legacy because, perhaps surprisingly to many people, much of it still exists and much has been put to new uses but generally only after much debate.

For example, the vast Prora-Rugen Nazi ‘Strength through Joy’ holiday camp, built as a sort of Nazi Butlin’s on the north German coast, is still there.

It remained unfinished in 1939 when war broke out and no one ever had a holiday there under the Nazis. For many years after the war, it was used as a military facility but now developers have acquired many of the blocks and are turning them into luxury holiday apartments. 

More controversial is the debate currently under way in Nuremberg – home of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds built by Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer, to stage the giant propaganda fests held annually during the Nazi era.




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