The Third Reich claimed dominance throughout Europe to the very Ural Mountains, and perhaps throughout the world. That is why the authorities had to constantly demonstrate that the best and largest is created only in Germany. One of the ghosts of that era is the 4-kilometer rest house that still stands today. Who, where and when built this "Hitler monster" and what fate befell the unique hotel in the end?
1. How it all started
After the Nazis came to power, the NSDAP had to demonstrate in every possible way that it was she who would lead the German people to prosperity. Thanks to "military Keynesianism", the Nazis were able to lead Germany out of the acute phase of the economic crisis that had engulfed the entire Western world.
As soon as the life of a simple German began to improve, there was a need to organize his mass leisure. At the same time, tourism was an important part of state propaganda. All the benefits of the "new" Germany had to constantly remind the Germans of who, thanks to whom all this appeared. At the same time, all sorts of appeasement of the middle class was accompanied by an intensification of the repressive policy towards ordinary workers and the opposition-minded intelligentsia. So, for example, with the coming to power, the Nazis not only gradually banned all other parties, but also destroyed the trade union movement, depriving the workers of any opportunity to fight for their rights. It was replaced by the fully state-controlled German Labor Front.
In 1936, the German architect Clemens Klotz designed a new type of holiday home. The documentation was shown personally to the Fuhrer, who ordered that several improvements be made to the final project. For example, Hitler demanded that a huge concert hall be added to the project, which could accommodate all the guests of the rest home at once. The head of the NSDAP also suggested that in the future the new rest house could be used for the treatment and rehabilitation of German soldiers and officers who arrived from the front.
The project of the sanatorium was named Prora. In 1937, the creation of Clemens Klotz even received the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris. At the same time, construction work began, in which all the major construction companies of the Third Reich and 9 thousand workers were involved. The construction of Prora began on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 prevented the completion of the rest house. The leadership of the NSDAP decided to transfer all builders to other facilities more important for the empire.
2. What was the holiday home
The Prora Holiday Home has a length of 4.5 km and is designed for 20,000 beds. In fact, this is not one building, but a whole complex consisting of 8 long buildings located at a distance of 150 meters from each other along the Baltic coast. Today, the reconstruction of the room in Prora looks rather modest. However, by the standards of Germany in the 1930s, it was a modern and comfortable recreation area for representatives of that very “middle class”. Getting into Prora was not easy.
A week's rest here per person cost 20 Reichsmarks. This is about 1/4 of the average German salary at the time. Not even every quite wealthy German could afford this when traveling with his family. Therefore, rest in Prora often became a form of encouragement for those who distinguished themselves. In this case, the voucher was fully or partially subsidized by the German Labor Front. Each of Prora's eight 500-meter hotels had its own seating area. However, there was also a common one, located strictly in the middle between the buildings.
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3. What fate befell the unique complex
In the end, Prora was never completed. During the war years, the complex was repeatedly bombed by the Allies during air raids. After May 8, 1945, soldiers of the Red Army were stationed here at the barracks. In the future, the buildings of Prora were used first by the German national police, and then by the army of the GDR. After the reunification of Germany, the buildings of the rest home were transferred to the department of the Bundeswehr. Until 2005, a significant part of the complexes was empty and slowly destroyed. Only in one of them a restaurant and a kindergarten were opened in 1993. Since 2004, individual premises have been sold to businessmen for a variety of needs.
In 2008, for the first time, the idea of reconstructing Prora as a holiday home was voiced. This idea immediately met with a wave of public indignation and criticism. For the most part, it was due to the fact that, according to the local population, there are already too many tourists on Rügen to open another facility with its own infrastructure for 3,000 seats. Therefore, in 2011, the project was revised and agreed on the decision to open a youth hostel for 402 places. Separately, a hotel was opened for another 300 places for the leisure of the elderly.
If you want to know even more interesting things, then you should read about 8 examples of "heavenly architecture" from the Austrian archbureau Coop Himmelb (l) au.