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Nazis Lose Hotel to City

DW staff / dpa (kjb)
October 12, 2006

The owner of Hotel am Stadtpark in Delmenhorst in Lower Saxony has finally decided to sell the disputed property to the city and not to the neo-Nazi group that had originally bid on it but has since disappeared.

Delmenhorst's mayor Carsten Schwettmann leads a demo against the sale of the hotel
The city has won the bid for "No Nazis in Delmenhorst"Image: picture-alliance/dpa

The much discussed Delmenhorst hotel won't be used for Nazi gatherings after all.

Hotel owner Günter Mergel is going to sell the hotel to the city council for three million euros ($3.8 million), said city spokesman Timo Frers on Wednesday. The deal will be finalized after the remaining details are worked out, added Frers.

"It's not just the purchase, the whole package is important," Mergel had said Friday, Oct. 6 as he waited for the city's offer.

City managed to scrape funds together

The disputed Delmenhorst hotel
Jürgen Rieger's right-wing group won't be meeting hereImage: picture-alliance/dpa

Delmenhorst's city council approved last week an offer of three million euros -- its final effort to prevent the hotel from going to Jürgen Rieger, a right-wing lawyer who wanted to purchase the facility for use as a neo-Nazi conference center.

Over have of the purchase price -- 1.6 million euros -- will come from city funds, while 920,000 euros were raised by a citizens' initiative called "For Delmenhorst." The remaining 500,000 euros will come from building society loans.

Wednesday's announcement concludes a two-month dispute over the empty hotel, which began in August when Rieger, representing the extremist Wilhelm Tietjen Foundation for Fertilization LTD, expressed his intention to purchase the property with a bid of 3.4 million euros.

After the extremist group and Rieger fell silent on the deal in September, the hotel was listed for sale on the Internet auction site eBay at a price of 3.4 million euros.

Mergel had also mentioned the possibility of leasing the property to the neo-Nazi group if he didn't find a satisfying price.

Due to tax problems, the England-based Wilhelm Tietjen Foundation has since been erased from the books and no longer exists in the legal sense. Rieger has disappeared, leaving the city of Delmenhorst as Mergel's only viable negotiation partner.

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