05/26/2011 02:02 pm ET | Updated Apr 17, 2012

German Hotel Holds Prison Parties In Former Nazi Work Camps

A German hotel is causing a furor by hosting jail-themed parties in cellars where the Nazis once imprisoned forced laborers.

The four-star Hotel Stadt Hameln, in the centre of the northern German city of Hamelin, has had a jail on its site since 1820, but the town really got its money's worth during World War II when the Nazi regime used the jail to imprison forced laborers.

Now the hotel is hoping to lock up a certain demographic with a "Prussian prison party package."

For $62, guests get a prison-striped T-shirt and the privilige of being ordered about by staff members in authentic prison officer uniforms. Upon entry, they are asked to drink a special "oral vaccine," and the guests of honor get locked up in special cells or even in the stocks, according to

Although the hotel's website details the history of the jail, there's no mention about its use by the Third Reich. That omission angers locals like historian Bernhard Gelderblom, who considers the parties "grotesque" and says that relatives of people who were held as prisoners in the building were, "outraged and find it tasteless."

A spokeswoman for the hotel tells the German magazine Der Spiegel that the complaints are much ado about nothing.

"We receive such letters from time to time," hotel manager Gabriele Güse said. "This hotel on this spot was the political will of the city of Hameln. We don't think that we are doing anything to damage or injure anyone with our hotel."

However, when she was asked why the hotel's homepage did not include even a mention of the Nazis' use of the building, she said, "I don't wish to comment."


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