|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, September 28, 2016
|Berlin mulls uses for Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels' abandoned love nest|
This file photo taken on January 13, 2016 shows the main grounds of the Communist Free German Youth (FDJ-Freie Deutsche Jugend) school complex, built in the 1950s, near the Bogensee lake, north of Berlin, taken on January 13, 2016. The plot of land which includes the complex, as well as the villa built for Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels between 1936-39, is for sale.
By: Eloi Rouyer
WANDLITZ (AFP).- History weighs heavily on the German property market, no more so than at a sprawling lakeside villa that once served as a love nest for Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.
Berlin has been trying to sell the -- in theory -- prime slab of real estate north of the German capital for 15 years.
But rather than a gem that the cash-strapped city, which is scrambling to pay for a record refugee influx, can liquidate, Berlin has admitted it sees the asset as little more than a millstone around its neck.
Berlin Immobilienmanagement GmbH (BIM), the city's wholly owned real estate agency, has in effect given up on the sale and expressed concerns it could fall into "the wrong hands".
"I am really afraid that this could become a shrine for Nazis and I don't think we should take that risk," the executive director of the BIM, Birgit Moehring, said.
Instead, it hopes to lease the property, whose idyllic setting is nestled in a wood and perched on the small Bogen lake.
The squat, sprawling house was used by the top Nazi as "country retreat" perfect for trysts with a revolving cast of budding actresses and paramours.
"It was refuge from the busy city" 40 kilometres (25 miles) to the south, BIM spokesman Christian Breitkreutz told AFP.
Berlin itself bought the land complete with a small cabin in 1936 for Goebbels, Hitler's nefariously skilled spin doctor, in honour of his 39th birthday.
Goebbels was taken with its secluded setting and subsequently had a much larger villa built on the site bankrolled by UFA, the movie production house he ran with an iron fist.
The luxury facilities included a private cinema and spacious living quarters overlooking the lake.
Attacked by damp cold
Today, the original generous picture windows, rich wood panelling and marble fixtures can still be seen, said Roberto Mueller, who has worked as a guard at the site since 1984.
But the house, ravaged by moisture and biting cold in the isolated and abandoned site, has begun to rapidly crumble.
The city had repeatedly tried to sell the house in recent years and a last attempt, via a public tender, came up dry in December, Moehring said, confirming that BIM had finally given up.
Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide in Hitler's bunker as Berlin was overrun by Soviet Army troops in May 1945, after she murdered their six children.
Dealing with the Goebbels villa has been all the more complicated because it is on the same slice of land as another vestige of the country's tumultuous past.
In the post-war years, East Germany built a vast complex on the land in the Stalinist style of the early 1950s to house a training centre for the FDJ, the communist party's youth indoctrination organisation.
The regime also used it to put up visiting party cadres from "brother states" such as Vietnam, Cuba and Angola.
At the time, the neighbouring Goebbels villa was converted into a supermarket for FDJ students and a children's nursery, Mueller said.
In total, the four main post-war buildings cover some 1,400 square metres (15,000 square feet) of bedrooms, conference halls, reception and banquet space.
Day by day, they are falling apart.
"At present there is no heating, no running water, there is serious damage to the facades, the roofs are falling apart and inside there is a lot to do too," Moehring admits, saying renovation costs would be "considerable".
Currently the only viable use for the phantom village has been as a unique, evocative film set, most recently for the adaptation of the international wartime bestseller "Alone in Berlin" starring Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson.
"What would really appeal to us would be if someone arrived with an intelligent concept to use this place which is so steeped in history," Moehring said, suggesting a continuing education campus or a hotel as other possible options.
She said BIM had been in touch with potential investors. But a major stumbling block remains the fact that the Goebbels villa is a listed building.
Because that prevents any major change to the structure, Moehring would like to see it stripped of its protected status.
"I am someone who absolutely defends the importance in this city of always being able to feel the presence of history," she said.
"But you also have to ask the question whether it is sensible to maintain certain buildings under the protection a historic monument grants."
If it were lifted, Moehring said the best thing might be the most radical measure: razing it to the ground.
Germany has often been confronted with questions over how to deal with the toxic legacy of sites linked to its bitter 20th century history.
Hitler's own "Eagle's Nest" mountain-top lodge now has a restaurant, a cafe and shops selling books with titles such as "Hitler's Mountain" that draws thousands of tourists each year.
Many of Germany's ministries pitched up in the Nazis' former official buildings when the government moved to Berlin from Bonn in 1999.
And the hangars of the former airport Tempelhof, a prime example of the Nazis' architectural gigantism, and the erstwhile headquarters of communist East Germany's feared Stasi secret police are both being used to house tens of thousands of asylum seekers.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
January 28, 2016
China's Ai Weiwei shuts show at the Faurschou Foundation to protest Danish migrant law
Stephan Jost appointed Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario
Berlin mulls uses for Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels' abandoned love nest
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denies asking for Venus cover-up in Rome
Exhibition offers a fresh, analytical look at postwar American and European art through 1979
Exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery focuses on Kenneth Noland's canvases from the mid-to-late 1970s
Sotheby's to offer selections from the Malcolm Collection of African Art in unique two-part sale series
The private collection of the Tour d'Argent up for auction at Artcurial in Paris on 9th May
Earliest surviving deck of hand-painted woodcut cards on view at the Cloisters in New York
Exhibition of new photographs by Gregory Crewdson opens at Gagosian Gallery New York
Landmark exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery shows the impact of computer and Internet technologies
Tampa Museum of Art opens major exhibition of works by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa
Reynolda House Museum of American Art names Phil Archer Director of Program and Interpretation
Exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery presents the work of Dale Frank
Firelei Báez solo exhibition opens at Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco
Nobel laureate Pamuk brings Museum of Innocence to London
Colombian street artists graffiti for peace
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen purchases René Magritte's 'Le miroir vivant'
Thomas Julier opens second solo exhibition at RaebervonStenglin
The Book of Evil Spirits: An expanded video installation by Chiara Fumai on view at waterside contemporary
Retrospective exhibition of Gábor Záborszky's work opens at the Ludwig Museum
Jaap van Zweden, violinist turned maestro, to lead NY Philharmonic
Abe Vigoda, "Godfather" star, dies at 94
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Stone Age mummy Oetzi still revealing secrets, 25 years on
2.- Tunisian remains found by British researchers prove 100,000-year human presence
3.- Rembrandt's four earliest paintings reunited for the first time at the Ashmolean
4.- Baltimore Museum of Art is one of only two major U.S. museums to feature an installation by transgender artists
5.- Archaeologists find 2,000-year-old human skeleton at Mediterranean shipwreck
6.- Digitally unwrapped scroll reveals earliest Old Testament scripture
7.- Rich London residents angry over Tate Modern voyeurs
8.- V&A Museum chief quits to fight nationalism post-Brexit
9.- Exhibition in Turin celebrates the most important family of Flemish artists
10.- Pointillism is now the focus of a high-calibre exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.