JewTube comments on the following BBC Propaganda video:

FractalBolt: That last part just had me rolling my eyes. The project was of epic proportions for the time, it still is in fact, of course it would win awards. They acted all concerned and uppity just because it was a Nazi wet dream. Have you seen some of the trash the soviets left behind? It's as bad if not worse than this. Hell, just look at modern day american gated communities for a worse eyesore. I do agree that trimming down the tress would have been stupid.

bademeister: Prora is a monster- but no less ugly than the spoilt coastlines of Spain, Greece, Majorca.. any place where mass-tourism takes place. Part of it were later finished and used for its original purpose and other blocks became garrisons. Parts of remained as empty concrete skeletons to the present day.

Prora: From 10:30

BBC: Julia Bradbury: German Wanderlust: Part 3: Ruegen

Prora is a beach resort on the island of Rügen, that was built between 1936 and 1939 as a Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude or KdF) project.

Prora lies on an extensive bay between the Sassnitz and Binz regions, known as the Prorer Wiek, on the narrow heath (the Prora) which separates the lagoon of the Kleiner Jasmunder Bodden from the Baltic Sea. The buildings extend over a length of 4.5 kilometres and are roughly 150 metres from the beach. The coast offers a long flat sand beach, which stretches from Binz to the ferry port. This beach was thus an ideal location for the establishment of a seaside resort.

Dr. Robert Ley envisaged Prora as a parallel to Butlins - British "holiday camps" designed to provide affordable holidays for the average worker. Prora was designed to house 20,000 holidaymakers, under the ideal that every worker deserved a free family holiday at the beach.

Designed by Clemens Klotz, who won a design competition overseen by Adolf Hitler's chief architect Albert Speer, all rooms were planned to overlook the sea, while corridors and sanitation are located on the land side. Each room of 5 by 2.5 metres was to have two beds, an armoire (wardrobe) and a sink. There were communal toilets, showers and ballrooms on each floor.

Hitler's plans for Prora were much more ambitious. He wanted a gigantic sea resort, the "most mighty and large one to ever have existed", holding 20,000 beds. Hitler insisted that the plans of a massive indoor arena by architect Erich Putlitz be included. Putlitz's Festival Hall was intended to be able to accommodate all 20,000 guests at the same time. His plans included two wave-swimming pools, a cinema and a theatre. A large dock for passenger ships was also planned.

The designs won a Grand Prix award at the 1937 Paris World Exposition.

Construction began in 1936. With the onset of World War II in 1939, building on Prora stopped and the construction workers transferred to the V-Weapons plant at Peenemünde. The eight housing blocks, the theatre and cinema stayed as empty shells, and the swimming pools and festival hall never materialised. During the Allied bombing campaign, many people from Hamburg took refuge in one of the housing blocks, and later refugees from the east of Germany were housed there. By the end of the war, these buildings housed female auxiliary personnel for the Luftwaffe.

In 1945 the Soviet Army took control of the region and established a military base at Prora. The Soviet Army's 2nd Artillery Brigade occupied block 5 of Prora from 1945 to 1955. The Soviet military then stripped all usable materials from the building. In the late 1940s two of the housing blocks - one on the North and one on the South - were demolished and the remains mostly removed.

In the late 1950s the East German military rebuilt several of the buildings. Since the buildings had been stripped to the bare brick in the late 1940s, most of the exterior and interior finish that can be seen today was done according to inferior East German standards.

After the formation of the German Democratic Republic's (GDR's) National Peoples Army in 1956, the buildings became a restricted military area housing several East German Army units. The most prominent were the elite 40. Fallschirmjägerbataillon Willi Sänger (40th Parachute Battalion "Willi Sänger") which was housed in block 5 from 1960 to 1982. Block 4 on the north side was used for urban combat training by the Parachute Battalion and others. Large sections remain as ruins.

Also housed in the building from 1982 to 1990 was the East German Army Construction Battalion "Mukran", where conscientious objectors served as noncombatant Construction Soldiers (Bausoldaten) to meet their military service obligation. A part of the building also served as the East German Army's "Walter Ulbricht" convalescent home.

After German reunification, the National People's Army of the GDR was absorbed into the West Germany Bundeswehr, that took over the building. Initially consideration was given to demolishing the buildings, but it was later given landmark protection and a tax break offered to developers to renovate it.

Parts of the building were used from 1990 to 1992 by the Military Technical School of the Bundeswehr. From 1992 to 1994 a part of the building was used to house asylum seekers from the Balkans.

Beginning in early 1993, the facility was empty and the buildings were subject to decay and vandalism. An exception to this was Block 3, Prora Center, which from 1995 to 2005 housed a variety of museums, special exhibitions, and a gallery. Between 1993 and 1999 the site served as one of the largest youth hostels in Europe.

Since 2000, the Documentation Center Prora has been located at the southern edge of the fairground buildings. This center documents the construction and use history of the building. Discussed here are both the background of the project and "its appropriation for Nazi propaganda."

In 2004, following more than a decade of unsuccessfully attempting to sell the site as a whole, the blocks of the building began being sold off individually for various uses. On 23 September 2004, Block 6 sold for 625 000 euros to an unknown bidder. On 23 February 2005, Block 3, the former Museum Mile, was sold to Inselbogen GmbH, which announced that the building would be used as a hotel. In October 2006, Block 1 and 2 were sold to Prora Projektentwicklungs GmbH which has announced plans of converting the buildings into shops and apartments. In November 2006, the Federal agency for real estate purchased Block 5. With financial support from federal government and the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania it planned to establish a youth hostel in the building. Located in the northernmost part of the complex, it was divided into five contiguous parts.

In late 2008, plans were approved to have Prora fill its original purpose and to turn it into a modern tourist resort. The council set out plans to build enough living space to house 3,000 people, as well as a youth hostel, and amenities for tourists. Kerstin Kassner, a local councillor, compared Prora's shore with a "Caribbean beach." However, the decision met with some scepticism from Binz locals, who felt that there were already too many tourists in the region, and Heike Tagsold, a Prora historian, who said that the town's past made it an inappropriate location for tourists.

In September 2010, plans were announced by a German-Austrian investor group to renovate blocks 1 and 2 as housing for the elderly and a hotel with 300 beds that includes tennis courts and swimming pool and a small shopping centre. The investment costs are estimated at 100 million euros.

In 2011 the largest youth hostel of Germany was re-opened in one of the blocks, with 402 beds in 96 rooms, and has been popular. A possible expansion of the facility aimed toward budget-minded tourists has been proposed.

Block 1 was re-offered for sale at an auction on 31 March 2012 and was purchased by a Berlin investor for 2.75 million euros.

In spring 2013, developers began marketing refurbished apartments in the Colossus for as much as 700,000 euros ($900,000) apiece. Currently, four of the buildings are in the process of redeveloped, a fifth is used as a youth hostel while the remaining three are in ruins.

Post a comment

Private comment




Search form
Latest Journals
Latest comments
Monthly archive
Friend Request Form

Want to be friends with this user.