David Crossland nimmt in der London Times vom Samstag, dem 12. Januar 2019 [siehe unten] dankenswerterweise die in Berlin geführte Debatte auf, ob die Goebbels-Villa am Bogensee 40 Kilometer vor Berlin abgerissen werden sollte. Wieland Giebel dazu: „Völliger Quatsch. Man kann Geschichte nicht durch Abriss entsorgen. Wie wäre es denn, den Flughafen Tempelhof, das heutige Außenministerium und auch das Finanzministerium abzureißen?- Alles Nazi-Bauten, die aber im Rahmen des Berliner Gebäude-Recyclings sinnvoll genutzt werden. Weder die Tafel am Führerbunker noch der Berlin Story Bunker mit der symbolischen Rekonstruktion des Raums, in dem Hitler sich erschoss, wurden Wallfahrtsorte für Neonazis.“
In die riesige Anlage in Bogensee gehört ein internationales Zentrum gegen rechts, an dem Jugendliche aus allen Länden mitwirken, die vom Zweiten Weltkrieg betroffen waren. Wieland Giebel: „100 Millionen Renovierungskosten – das ist reine Spinnerei. So eine Summe soll nur dazu dienen, den Abriss zu rechtfertigen.“
A luxury bungalow used by Joseph Goebbels as a venue to seduce film actresses could be demolished because it is costing too much to maintain.
The building, north of Berlin, was where Hitler’s propaganda chief wrote his “total war” speech. The bill for its renovation is estimated at more than €100 million, with basic maintenance costs of about €1 million a year.
A Berlin city councillor from the ruling Social Democrats said that no serious investors had come forward in three bidding rounds since unification in 1990 and that the vast and remote complex, which also includes a crumbling communist-era college, was of limited historical interest.
The fate of the building feeds into an anguished national debate over how Germany should handle its Nazi heritage and whether tearing down symbols of the regime amounts to erasing part of its fascist history.
Sven Heinemann, who is on the supervisory board of the state property agency that owns the site near Bogensee, said the city wanted to avoid the bungalow becoming a shrine for neo-Nazis and that it made little sense to spend the huge sum on its renovation. He said he hoped that a final decision on the site could be taken this year after an expert report.
“It was a private villa where Goebbels seduced some actresses,” Mr Heinemann said. “If the place were deemed that historically significant, efforts would have been made to explain its history by now.”
Historians, however, expressed dismay at the prospect of a demolition. “This is total nonsense. You can’t discard history by tearing down buildings,” said Wieland Giebel, a publisher who designed an exhibition on Hitler in Berlin. “The whole complex represents Germany’s two dictatorships and it would be perfectly suited as a conference centre for young people, especially at a time like this with nationalism on the rise across Europe.”
He added: “The bungalow can serve as a museum to show how the Nazi regime drove people to war while the top brass gorged themselves and screwed around. It could attract 200,000 visitors a year.”
Goebbels started visiting Bogensee, which is 25 miles from Berlin, in 1936, when the capital’s government gifted him the lake and a small chalet on the shore for his 39th birthday. Deciding that he needed a more prestigious retreat, he ordered the construction of the bungalow, which was completed in 1939. A statue of a nude Aryan couple embracing stands by the entrance. The building has 30 rooms and floor-to-ceiling terrace windows that could be automatically lowered into the ground. Hitler and Hermann Goering had similar windows in their retreats.
Among the women he entertained at Bogensee was the Czech actress Lída Baarová. Their affair lasted for two years and ended only after Hitler intervened at the request of Goebbels’s wife, Magda, not least to protect their image as a model Nazi family.
“He was besotted with her,” the historian Ralf Georg Reuth said. “When the relationship ended he lamented in his diary that ‘my youth is over’. Bogensee was . . . closely associated with Baarová.”
The building was used as a hospital by the Allies after the war and the Soviets then handed it over to the youth arm of the East German Communist Party. It became the nucleus of a huge college to instil socialist ideology into party officials from around the world.