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Brave investors have decided that the lovely area of Berchtesgaden, Germany would be a wonderful place for an InterContinental hotel. And they are right, for the most part. There are a fantastic array of lakes and mountains and beautiful scenery throughout the area. The only problem was that Adolph Hitler thought so as well. He made Berchtesgaden his second home, as did much of his senior staff. In fact, the area became a type of summer national headquarters for the Third Reich, as well as one of the locations Hitler penned Mein Kampf.
Much of it was destroyed towards the end of World War II, but as recent as ten years ago I was able to tramp through the woods and climb amongst the ruins and within the tunnels left behind. Apparently, much of this has been cleared out in recent years as the area tries to return to its glory days as a 19th century mountain resort. The building of the “Hitler Hotel,” as many are now calling it, is just one step in the healing process (albeit the wrong step according to The Simon Wiesenthal Center who has strongly criticized the decision, arguing that Berchtesgaden “was the seat of evil, where Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi leadership took most of the decisions that cost the world 70 million lives”).
Nonetheless, part of the approval to allow the hotel to be built was the requirement that it was to be an upscale hotel and thus, out of the price range of neo-Nazis hoping to bed down in the fuehrer’s favorite nap place. At 250-700 euros a night, I probably won’t be sleeping there either.
Filed under: Germany