Investor turning Nazi indoctrination camp into luxury flats goes bust

A real estate developer that was renovating part of a massive Nazi-era holiday resort on the Baltic Sea to turn it into luxury accommodation has filed for bankruptcy.

Investor turning Nazi indoctrination camp into luxury flats goes bust
Prora. Photo: DPA

The developer who bought of Block 1 of the Prora building complex on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea has gone bust shortly before the completion of the project, the Ostsee Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

Roughly 90 percent of the renovation work on the 450 metre block had already been finished, the Ostsee Zeitung reports. The company, Wohnen in Prora Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH, had planned to construct 280 luxury private apartments and had already sold almost all of the properties. The most expensive properties in the building were reportedly sold for more than €1 million.

But the company failed to secure an extension on a bank loan. What will now happen with the building remains unclear.

The monstrous building was originally intended for up to 20,000 Germans as part of the Third Reich's so-called Strength Through Joy propaganda programme.

Recreation and hearty exercise would have been coupled with on-site ideological teaching to build loyalty to the Nazis and strong racial identity among the “Aryan” working class.

Building started in 1936 but halted with the onset of World War II in 1939, leaving a concrete skeleton known as the Colossus of Prora stretching 4.5 kilometres down one of Germany's most stunning beaches.

Under East Germany's communist state, the camp served as military barracks so secretive that they did not appear on travel maps.

The building lay empty for several decades after the end of the Cold War, but its prime location on a stretch of pristine beach made it hotly sought after by property developers.

Four of the five blocks which make up the 4.4-kilometre complex have already been bought by investors. Two other developers are vying to buy the fifth block.

Wohnen in Prora Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH explained to the Ostsee Zeitung that their project had gone bust due to unexpected delays in construction. The fact that the buildings are listed had complicated the renovation.

With AFP

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Why Germany is mulling an extension to property tax deadline

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is seeking talks with state leaders to arrange a possible extension to the deadline for submitting the new property tax declaration. Here's what's going on.

Why Germany is mulling an extension to property tax deadline

Under plans to reform how property tax is calculated, around 36 million homeowners in Germany have been asked to fill in a tax declaration this year. 

The deadline for submitting the new declaration is currently set to expire at the end of October. But according to Finance Minister Lindner, just a quarter to a third of property owners have completed their tax return so far. 

Speaking on the RTL/ntv programme Frühstart, the FDP politician said he would arrange talks with the state premiers this week in order to pitch a deadline extension of at least a few months. 

“My offer: we extend the deadline for submitting the property tax return by a manageable period of time,” he said.

Lindner said it was important to be “realistic” about the fact that some citizens, especially older property owners and pensioners, felt overwhelmed with the tax return. 

He also acknowledged that there had been problems with the software for submitting tax returns, which had added to homeowners’ woes. 

Reform has faced numerous hurdles

The new system will primarily calculate the tax rate using land value and rent, though states will be able to introduce other regulations.

Advocates of the change say the new system is fairer than the current one that bases the tax rate on the (often outdated) value of the property. 


However, attempts to carry out the largest tax reform since the Second World War have hit numerous hurdles along the way, with property owners complaining of difficulties filling in and submitting the declaration.

There were also issues affecting the government’s Elster tax portal, which was overloaded with users in July after the tax offices started accepting property tax declarations. 

The problems have led to growing calls to extend the deadline until at least January 31st, 2023.