Germany: Berlin offers up Goebbels’ villa for free

Germany: Berlin offers up Goebbels' villa for free
Germany: Berlin offers up Goebbels' villa for free

Berlin’s state government said the villa once owned by Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister will be demolished if no takers come forward to claim it. Germany has long struggled with the fate of its former Nazi buildings.

Berlin’s Finance Ministry has renewed its offer to give away a lakeside villa built for Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, in a last attempt to avoid its demolition.

Berlin’s state finance minister, Stefan Evers, said the villa was available for free for anyone willing to take up its hefty upkeep.

“I am offering anyone who would like to take over the site to take it over as a gift from the state of Berlin,” Evers said, expressing hope to receive a new proposal from the state of Brandenburg, where the villa is actually located.

“If we fail again, as in the past decades, then Berlin has no other option but to carry out the demolition that we have already prepared for,” Evers said.

What is the history of Villa Bogensee?

The villa was constructed for Goebbels on a 17-hectare (42-acre) plot of land just outside Berlin that the city gifted him in 1936.

The former Nazi PR chief used it as a retreat from his Berlin-based wife and six children. Apart from entertaining Nazi leaders, artists and actors, Goebbels was also believed to have used the villa as a love-nest for his many secret affairs.

After he and his wife took their and their children’s lives in 1945 in a Berlin bunker, the villa was briefly used as a military hospital, before being transformed into the youth wing of the East German communist party.

It came to several miscellaneous uses for about a decade following the fall of the Berlin Wall, before being largely abandoned. Its maintenance and upkeep have become a liability for the state surrounding Berlin and the federal government.

Germany has long struggled when dealing with former Nazi sites, which are often complex to demolish, amid fears that leaving them intact could attract a new wave of far-right extremists.

Source: Dw

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