Understandably, any new idea or new place anywhere, which evokes any notion of Nazism, provokes inevitable controversy. On Germany’s largest Baltic island of Ruegen, the old resort of Prora is proving to be no exception.
Originally constructed by the Nazis for the purpose of Hitler’s “strength thorough youth” campaign, the site has been a centre of discussion ever since its construction was interrupted due to the war in 1936. Up until the reunification of Germany in 1990, Prora was rarely at the forefront of political discussions. However, ever since it has been the subject of debate in terms of what the Germans should do with it. The outcome is that Prora will become a colossal complex for 20.000 tourists.
Having stood intact for 70 years, the managers of the tourism complex expect it to stand for a lot longer. The complex is set to undergo a 100.000 EUR makeover. Some have suggested that the German government has simply neglected their responsibility for Prora by selling it to foreign investors. On the other hand, who could blame them? After all, it symbolises an era of German history, which today’s Germans are not particularly proud of, to put it lightly.
If plans go as expected, 500 tourists could be accommodated in Prora by 2011. There are plans for 150 private apartments and a swimming pool area.
The investors are determined to make good profits out of it. Whether they market Prora as a former Nazi resort or not is of course their business. There is further controversy as to whether or not this would work. One thing is for sure: Prora is set to be used for totally different purposes than intended when it was constructed 70 or so years ago. From being a place for soldiers and workers to be fit for war, it is becoming a holiday area.