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Joseph Goebbels’ unwanted lakeside villa set to be given away for free

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After the fall of the Nazi regime it was briefly used by the Allies as a military hospital before passing into the hands of the Soviets, who turned it into a youth camp.

Since 2000, the estate, roughly 10 miles north of Berlin, has been uninhabited and the villa, enclosed by dense woodland behind Lake Bogensee, has fallen into disrepair. Many of the windows are boarded up or broken, and parts of the facade are missing.

Mr Evers said he was looking for proposals that would do justice to the site’s historical significance, such as being taken over by the federal government or the neighbouring state of Brandenberg, where it is located.

Another possibility would be a private new owner, perhaps with the intention of turning the area into a museum.

The senator warned that if no new owners come forward “as has been the case in the past decades, then the state of Berlin will have no other option than to carry out a demolition”.

The state of Brandenberg has so far been reluctant to acquire the site because renovation costs would run to an estimated €350 million, according to German broadcaster ZDF.

This leaves the considerably cheaper option for Berlin state of knocking it down, which would cost €50 million.

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