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London, Friday, July 6, 2001

[Pictures added by this website: Hitler and Himmler; Hitler, von Puttkamer, Below.]


Himmler, HitlerNazis' Alpine retreat to be converted into luxury hotel




ANDREAS NACHAMA, the former head of the Berlin Jewish community, has welcomed a decision, after years of debate, to build a luxury hotel in Obersalzberg, Bavaria, on the site of Adolf Hitler's Alpine command centre.

He said the project would make it unlikely that the site would become a magnet for neo-Nazis.

Building by a sub-contractor for the Bavarian State Bank is due to start this month on a 140-bed Intercontinental hotel.

The £23-million project is expected to take three years. The hotel, which will include a golf course, will replace the former holiday mansion of Nazi general Hermann Göring, head of the German Air Force.

Hitler's nearby residence, "Berghof," was destroyed in 1945, but his "Eagle's Nest" mountain-top retreat and bunker still exist and are open to visitors.

After the Second World War, the house and the surrounding area were used by the US Army. In 1997, they were handed over to Bavarian state authorities, who have been struggling to find a proper use for the site ever since.

As a historian, Mr Nachama served as an advisor on the establishment of a museum in Obersalzberg which opened in 1999 and documents the area's Nazi past.

Hitler and his staffIt now attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year. It includes part of the bunker system where Hitler, Göring and other senior Nazis spent the final years of the war, as well as films and audio recordings reminding visitors of Nazi atrocities and the death camps.

Bavarian Finance Minister Kurt Falthauser said the American-based Intercontinental group, which will own the hotel, had committed itself not to allow any "Nazi tourism" in the area.

"The more luxurious the hotel, the better the chances of preventing such unwanted tourists," Mr Nachama said this week. "We can be sure that no skinhead will run such a hotel. "I am 100-per-cent convinced that this hotel management will prevent vendors from selling Third Reich souvenirs," he added.

"The hotel is also only 200 metres from the museum, which is visible from the hotel terrace. The hotel managers could place a sign recalling the past of the building, but because of the neighbouring documentation centre, that is not really necessary."

Jewish heirs would get proceeds from resale.

Related item on this website:

For sale: Hitler's Berlin bunker
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