The property of Alwine was owned by Europe's oldest fuel briquette factory when Brandenburg was part of communist East Germany. Around 50 people lived in the village, which is in the middle of a forest near the town of Uebigau-Wahrenbrück.
But the factory closed after German reunification in 1990. Many Alwine residents, most of them young people, began to leave the village in the following years.
Two brothers bought the land in 2001 for a "symbolic deutschmark," Germany's former currency.
Yet they were unable to save Alwine, which has no shop and no public transport connections, from decay and was put up for sale after one of the brothers died.
Uebigau-Wahrenbrück's mayor, Andreas Claus, told local news portal rbb24 that the brothers did not do enough to improve the village: "Practically nothing has happened here since their purchase. The rent was cashed, but very little was done to change peoples' lives."