FDGB Erholungsheim Hermann Duncker
THE ABANDONED HOTEL IN GERMANY
‘FDGB Erholungsheim Hermann Duncker’ was built in 1909 in Barenberg, near Schierke in the Harz. The building was used as a hospital, a kuthotel and a vacation home. It was left empty after the German reunification.
This once luxurious hotel was built in 1909 as Villa Waldpark. During the First World War, it served as a military hospital. Later, after the war, it became Kurhotel Barenberger Hof. The extension of the building with a dining room took place during 1924. Eventually it was renamed Barenberg and used as a vacation home, or Erholungsheim. The building was owned by the company ‘Deutschen Werke Kiel und Friedrichsort’.
From 1945 onwards, Barenberg was owned by the FDGB, the Free German Trade Union Federation. In the 1950s the hotel changed its name into ‘Erholungsheim Einheit’ and later in the 1960s into ‘Erholungsheim Hermann Duncker’. Named after the 1960s German political activist.
Since 1990, the building is empty and decaying. At the present time, the building belongs to an investment group from Berlin that originally planned to turn the house into a luxury hotel again. Unfortunately, so far nothing happened. Without the care, the forces of nature had its way. Local youth started fires, leaving behind a trail of destruction. I visited the hotel in 2011 and 2023. Most of the old hotel is already collapsed, the building will probably be demolished.