Prora KdF Seaside Resort
Located in Prora, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Germany
Photo © 2007 Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
Prora KdF Seaside Resort History
On the island of Rügen, Germany, lies the remnants of an expansive beach resort constructed by the Third Reich. It was one of five entertainment complexes planned, and although it was never completed, it remains as the largest Third Reich building in existence, extending for about 4.5 km (2.8 miles). The resort was built for the Kraft durch Freude (KdF - Strength Through Joy), a large state-controlled organization that sought to provide cheap or free leisure activities for the working class. Prora was designed to accommodate 20,000 vacationers in two complexes, each having four blocks of ten housing units each. The units were to be connected via swimming pools and other community buildings, centrally located around an administration building and open festival square. A multitude of cinemas, restaurants, and worker housing were planned, as well as a large quay where two KdF cruise ships could dock. Hitler's plans called for a massive festival hall to be built that could hold all 20,000 visitors, as well as the ability for the complex to be converted to a military hospital if needed. The complex was so large that a small train line was to be built to transport vacationers from the central quay to the outer blocks.
A few businesses have moved into parts of the complex, including a youth hostel, dance club, restaurant, and the Documentation Center, a museum dedicated to the history of the resort. Plans to reuse the rest of the complex have been proposed, however many mixed feelings have been expressed due to the history of the site and the existing tourist population in the region.
For some fantastic historic photos, visit Prora at thirdreichruins.com.