A Nazi sex mansion where Hitler’s propaganda chief bedded film stars will become an artists’ commune with special accommodation for immigrants 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 there.
It was where he seduced his various mistresses, including the then film starlet Lída Baarová.
It is also where he wrote his notorious ‘Total War’ speech of 1943 – which saw him urge the German people to continue fighting the Allies even though the tide of the war had turned against them.
Today, the Bogensee mansion – which is comprised of more than 70 rooms and boasts a private cinema – lies abandoned.
It fell into disuse in the 1990s, after spending the Cold War as an East German college for indoctrinating young people into communism.
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.
It is hoped that the transformation will deter neo-Nazis from wanting to visit the complex.
A Nazi sex mansion where Hitler’s propaganda chief bedded film stars will become an artists’ commune with special accommodation for immigrants 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 there
Arnim Beutel, a spokesman for LKC Bogensee, the organisation behind the vision, believes Hitler and Goebbels would be seething to see their plans.
‘It should be a diverse community,’ he said.
‘I think they would hate it because of course we do the opposite of what they would do.’
He continued: ‘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.’
Goebbels seduced his various mistresses at Bogensee, including seduced the film starlet Lída Baarová
The transformation is expected to be expensive, however – 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.
But 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 €230,000 (£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.
In a 1936 diary entry, Joseph Goebbels called Bogensee ‘an idyll of solitude’ where you could be ‘completely left to your own devices’. Pictured: The mansion during its time as an East German college
The transformation is expected to be expensive, however – the Bogensee mansion alone comprises 70 rooms as well as a private cinema
Goebbels’ mansion itself would host a museum, detailing the history of the site and the two totalitarian ideologies that shaped its past.
Arnim’s daughter, Fanny, 16, explained: ‘I think that far-right people would be deterred from using it as a pilgrimage because of our principals, our beliefs and the way we try to treat people equally.’
They also believe that preserving the buildings is better than demolishing them, however dark their history.
The complex also includes numerous Stalinist buildings from the Cold War era
It fell into disuse in the 1990s, after spending the Cold War as an East German college for indoctrinating young people into communism
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 Lída Baarová.
He and his wife, Magda, ultimately killed themselves and their six children in Berlin on May 1, 1945, after Nazi Germany’s defeat in the Second World War became certain.
The family had fled Bogensee for the German capital on April 22.
The Nazi Casanova Joseph Goebbels and his two-year affair with Czech actress Lída Baarová
Joseph Goebbels was one of the most important and influential people in Nazi Germany.
Adolf Hitler put him in charge of the Nazi party’s propaganda machine in 1929 and he played a key role in implementing the dictator’s agenda when he came to power in 1933.
His job involved presenting a favourable image of Hitler to the public, by stage-managing his appearances at rallies and flying him all over the Reich.
His other roles were to control the media and to whip up anti-Semitism.
He masterminded the burning of ‘un-German’ books, as well as the hounding Jewish editors and artists into bankruptcy.
Joseph Goebbels was one of the most important and influential people in Nazi Germany
His sharp tongue earned him the nickname among some as the ‘Poison Dwarf’.
He also censored the news and supported Nazi propaganda films.
As WWII turned in favour of the Allies, he increased his propaganda in order to convince the German people of the idea of ‘total war’ and mobilisation.
When Nazi Germany’s defeat became certain in 1945, Goebbels and his wife Magda killed themselves and their six biological children with cyanide capsules the day after Hitler himself committed suicide.
Goebbels became infatuated with the actress Czech actress Lída Baarová and their two-year dalliance pushed Goebbels’ marriage close to collapse
Goebbels is also well-known for having a voracious sexual appetite.
Although he had six children with his wife Magda, who he married in 1931, the propaganda chief had countless affairs.
He became infatuated with the actress Czech actress Lída Baarová and their two-year dalliance pushed Goebbels’ marriage close to collapse.
Baarová was married to German actor Gustav Frohlich. The pair co-starred in the 1935 film Barcarole. It made Baarova a household name in Germany.
Born in Prague, the daughter of a civil servant, Baarová became a star of the Czechoslovak cinema at 21 after her first film, The Career of Pavel Camrda (1931).
In 1934, the German company UFA signed her up, and the role as Giacinta in Barcarole followed.
Her final German film was Der Spieler (The Gambler) in 1937.
When Goebbels’s wife found out about his affair with Baarová, she told Hitler and the dictator refused him permission to divorce his wife and ordered him never to see the actress again.
Baarová then fled to her native Prague, giving up her burgeoning career in Germany.
From 1942, she made films in Italy but returned to Prague when the country’s leader Mussolini was deposed.
Baarová later left Czechoslovakia with her new husband, theatre agent Jan Kopecky, to Argentina and then Spain.
She divorced in 1956 and moved to Austria. She continued to act in stage productions but was unpopular for her past association with the Nazis.
Defending herself before her death in 2000, she said ‘I was not a Nazi, but like other women I was afraid to say no to such men.’