Nazi bunker in Germany to become "design and lifestyle" hotel

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/22/nazi-era-bunker-in-germany-to.html

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The challenge when integrating these sites into modern-day landscapes is “how to reconcile commemoration and consumption or consumerism

Consumption and consumerism should not play a part. Unless they’re being used as museums or memorials or perhaps re-purposed for capacities that directly oppose fascist values, these places (prisons, secret police headquarters, concentration camps, visible and distinct symbols of a totalitarian regime’s militarism) should be razed to the ground.

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Hmm. I dunno. I think stuff like this ends up backfiring by glamorizing the previous owners rather than standing as a historic relic of a past we’re not looking to repeat.

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I get that developing something like a concentration camp into luxury condos is in pretty poor taste, but…this was an air raid bunker. Isn’t turning something like this into a thriving part of the community that hosts people of all races & creeds from all over the world kind of a thumb in the eye of what the Nazis were aiming for?

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Why is the picture a minecraft screenshot though?

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It’s not exactly an air raid bunker.

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It served that purpose as a concert venue and art/music studio. Turning such an architecturally distinct symbol of Hamburg’s Nazi past into a boutique “design and lifestyle hotel” for tourists who want a little thrill (and most likely Nazi fanbois) isn’t a refutation in the same way.

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Instead, it serves as a memorial to the current crop of neo-nazis that “the third reich knew how to build things to last” or whatever other crap they say to let them sleep at night.

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I’m not sure I agree fully with the distinction you’re making between purposes or @jaded’s prediction, but I also think reasonable people can disagree about this. Obviously one’s impression of re-purposing anything having to do with this era are going to be subjective, so I don’t intend to be dismissive of anyone else’s impression–it just doesn’t strike me as egregious.

They were hybrid flak tower/shelters. Essentially impregnable to bombardment of any kind, with 3m thick concrete walls and several flak guns on top. The stories of the thousands of people stuck inside them during bombardment are some grim stuff, particularly the Zoo towers in Berlin.

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It being proposed to be used as luxury apartments is really… something. I find it upsetting, to put it lightly, that they’d want to use such a place as a means to show off wealth and status.

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I, too, have my reservations.

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This is a repugnant, disrespectful idea.

If it isn’t turned into a free museum detailing the horrors of the Nazi regime, then it should be demolished.

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This video gives info on the history and engineering marvel of these flak towers. Hamburg had 3 of these towers to triangulate air defense. according to the video, one of them is being used as an energy storage facility, and one is now an aquarium (ETA correction, that is in Vienna). It mentions a third is a night club, so I am guessing that is the one looking to be turned into a hotel? But it isn’t alone, it sounds like many of them have been repurposed.

Evidently because they are so massive, and they are smack dab in the middle of the cities, the money needed to take them down safely is too great. The British destroyed one in Berlin right at the end of the war, and it took an amazing amount of explosives and then still required a massive effort to break it up and haul it away.

ETA - I think this is the same structure - unless it’s ANOTHER giant concrete, impenetrably building in Hamburg.

ETA II - According to Wiki, it is:

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It’s easier when the former evil blood sucking murderous occupants are myths and not real.

http://www.bran-castle.com/

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Most awkward pun ever

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“Doing nothing” is essentially “We would do something about leftover Nazi stuff but we’re too busy, and it would cost money.”

There’s something about that excuse that’s circular and morally self-defeating, somehow.

“Doing nothing and giving it to the kind of people who want to make money while doing nothing,” is still worse, as a course of action.

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Also - uh - I think we have some wires crossed in this story? I can’t read the NYT story, sorry, so maybe it makes it more clear than the snippet in the post with the image does.

I don’t think the flak tower was ever the Gestapo headquarters. BUT there is a proposal to revitalize the The Stadthöfe area, which includes the building that was previously the Gestapo headquarters. And if the image in this article is correct, it doesn’t include the Flak tower. Using Google Maps, the two areas are nearby, but not the same thing.

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The descendants of Nazi Germany may have to make some decisions about luxury hotel development in their cities that don’t ensure maximum private profit.

This is not the civil rights issue of our generation.

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Unfortunate name.

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Hm. Is all “dark tourism” bad?

I toured Dachau, but I definitely didn’t find it pornographic.

Isn’t turning Hitler’s nazi hotel into a place where all races, genders, religions etc can come the opposite of nazi values?

Maybe don’t market that it was a nazi bunker explicitly, but if people just want to hang out in a brutalist hotel is that so bad?