For sale: Berlin country estate, one Nazi owner

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BERLIN -- The hideaway villa used by Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief, to entertain his lovers is to be put up for sale in an attempt to bail out the cash-strapped city of Berlin.

The rundown, empty Waldhof estate, set in woodland 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the city, has become a financial burden for the Berlin council, which has been contemplating the closure of opera houses and other desperate measures to avert bankruptcy...

Goebbels took over the place in 1936. A diary entry for November 6 that year records his enthusiasm: “wonderful autumn weather, the wood is so perfect . . . we have to get rid of the Jewish plague. Completely . . . Otherwise, early to bed. One sleeps so well in the woods.”

The propaganda minister, in charge of film-making, built a cinema on the premises and invited a string of film starlets to the house, including his principal mistress Lida Baarová. She enjoyed swimming in the Bogensee lake. Other glamorous visitors included the Third Reich actresses Zarah Leander and Marika Rökk.

It was not only play for Goebbels. He also wrote his most important speech, calling for Total War, in the study of the house during the winter of 1942-43. “A perfect place for creative thought,” he said.

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