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Once used for illegal contacts, the villa of Nazi propagandists is now available for free



Once used for illegal contacts, the villa of Nazi propagandists is now available for free

Villa Bogensee is located on a plot of 17 hectares just outside Berlin

Berlin, Germany:

A lakeside villa built for Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels is being offered for free to anyone willing to take on the daunting task of being responsible for its upkeep.

The Villa Bogensee, which stands on a 17-hectare plot of land just outside Berlin, was designed in 1936 as a country retreat for Goebbels.

The Nazi PR chief is said to have used the house for his illegal contacts with actresses until April 1945, just days before he and his wife committed suicide in a Berlin bunker.

The villa has been unused and fallen into disrepair since 2000, with the city-state of Berlin struggling to find a new owner to take it over.

Stefan Evers, Berlin’s finance minister, told a local government meeting on Thursday that the building was threatened with demolition.

“I offer anyone who wants to take over the site to take it over as a gift from the state of Berlin,” Evers said.

The property is in Brandenburg, but neither the state surrounding Berlin nor the federal government are interested in such a “generous gift,” he said.

Germany has long struggled with the question of what to do with former Nazi sites, as many are too complex to demolish. But leaving them intact risks turning them into a magnet for a new wave of far-right extremists.

After the end of the Second World War, Goebbels’ villa was briefly used as a military hospital before being handed over to a youth organization that ran an academy there.

The sprawling villa still retains charming original features such as wood panelling, parquet floors and chandeliers, but renovation costs would likely run into millions of euros.

Evers said he was still hoping for a new proposal from the state of Brandenburg to take over the villa.

“However, should this again come to nothing, as in previous decades, the state of Berlin will have no choice but to carry out the demolition,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)