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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 20:42 GMT 21:42 UK
Nazi holiday camp sold at auction
Prora hotel complex
The outbreak of war meant the complex was never used as a resort
Part of a 4.5km-long (2.7 miles) German hotel complex built by the Nazis as a holiday camp has been sold at auction for 625,000 euros ($770,320).

The concrete beachfront resort in the town of Prora, on the island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea, was commissioned by Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

It was meant to be used by soldiers and workers, but the outbreak of World War II meant it never opened as a hotel.

The lot sold at auction included a section of the hotel, and woodland.

Concrete blocks

The starting price for the lot was 125,00 euros. The auction house has not released information on the buyer, who bid by telephone.

Juergen Rostock, of the Prora Documentation Centre, told the AFP news agency the building symbolised the "megalomania and the fall" of the Third Reich.

Made up of eight austere concrete blocks and capable of accommodating 20,000 people, the complex was one of the world's first mass tourism resorts.

It was built as part of the Nazis' Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude) leisure programme, which aimed to build loyalty to the party among the working class.

It housed refugees during the war, and was later used as a barracks for the Soviet and East German armies.

While the complex now is classified as a historical monument and is protected by law, no buyer could be found for the whole complex.

Further sections of the resort are due to be sold next year.

Country profile: Germany
21 Sep 04  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Germany
21 Sep 04  |  Country profiles

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