For sale: Goebbels' lakeside 'love nest'
THE lakeside villa was Berlin's gift to Joseph Goebbels. The infamous Nazi propaganda minister used it as a secret "love nest" in which to consummate his countless affairs and as a tranquil refuge from where he composed tirades against the Jews in order to please Adolf Hitler.
Yet 69 years after Goebbels and his wife murdered their six children and then committed suicide in a garden above Hitler's Berlin bunker, the Nazi minister's Haus am Bogensee villa survives intact, overgrown and empty in a lost corner of Germany, just 24 miles north of the capital.
The Berlin city government, which owns the 70-room lakeside complex completed in 1939, has been trying in vain since Germany's reunification to find a buyer. But its unsavoury past has deterred prospective buyers and Berlin is concerned that neo-Nazis might bid for the complex in disguise.
"The nature of the property means that the background of anyone interested in it has to be checked," a spokesman said. "Nobody can say how long it will be before we find a suitable investor."
The Haus am Bogensee is believed to be the only leading Nazi's villa to remain intact after the Second World War. Hermann Goering's lavish hunting lodge, Carinhall, which was built nearby, was blown up in 1945. Despite its historical status, the Haus am Bogensee has become an expensive and embarrassing millstone, costing thousands of euro each year in maintenance of the property.
Nowadays, visiting Goebbels' hideaway means taking an excursion into Germany's not-so-distant past. The Haus am Bogensee stands in the middle of a park-like complex of East German communist-era buildings, on a street named after the prominent Soviet proletarian writer, Nicolai Ostrovski.
The villa was used as a communist youth university after 1945, but its deep overhanging Nordic roof and the rough stone columns supporting its covered entrance show that it is a piece of typical Nazi-era "Germanic" architecture built in the style of Adolf Hitler's now destroyed Berghof Bavarian mountain retreat.