A notorious Nazi sex mansion where Hitler’s propaganda chief bedded film stars will become an artists’ commune under bold new plans.
Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda, was gifted land at Bogensee, near Berlin, for his birthday in 1936 and spent fortunes building a mansion.
It was where he seduced his various mistresses, including the film starlet Lida Baarov , and also where he wrote his ‘total war’ speech in 1943.
But today it lies abandoned, having fallen into disuse in the 1990s, after spending the Cold War as an East German college for indoctrinating youths.
Now plans are afoot to transform the Bogensee complex into an artists’ commune, complete with a vegan restaurant, non-profit supermarket and homeopathic health centre.
The scheme also includes workshops, a theatre and a museum, and priority living space for those “disadvantaged in our society”, including immigrants and the disabled.
Arnim Beutel, a spokesman for LKC Bogensee, the organisation behind the vision, believes Hitler and Goebbels would be seething to see their plans.
He said: “It should be a diverse community. I think they would hate it because of course we do the opposite of what they would do.
“We want to build a co-operative community and we want to bring life back there. We want to make it a hotspot for culture and education and health.
“We want to create an area for an alternative way to live and to work.”
The transformation is expected to be expensive and the Bogensee mansion alone comprises 70 rooms as well as a private cinema.
The complex also includes numerous Stalinist buildings from the Cold War era.
LKC Bogensee are already in discussion with a local renewable power company, Barnim Energie, about supporting the scheme.
They’re also planning a gradual approach to renovation, unfolding over the span of 10 years.
Meanwhile, the current owners – the Berlin government – are spending an estimated £200,000 a year on maintaining the property.
Ultimately, the renovated estate would house approximately 250 people, with some of the living space set aside for the disadvantaged.
Goebbels’ mansion itself would host a museum, detailing the history of the site and the two totalitarian ideologies that shaped its past.
Organisers believe that, if their goal is achieved, neo-Nazis will no longer want to visit.
They also believe that preserving the buildings is better than demolishing them, however dark their history.
Mr Beutel said: “The difficulty of this place is this historical weight, and that’s a problem. I think we have to give this place a new use.
“It could be a symbolic way to show how to live with this history.”
In a 1936 diary entry, Joseph Goebbels called Bogensee “an idyll of solitude” where you could be “completely left to your own devices”.
However, he would eventually move his family into the mansion, having been ordered by Hitler to break off his affair with Lida Baarov.
He and his wife, Magda, ultimately killed themselves and their six children in Berlin on May 1, 1945, having fled Bogensee on April 22.