Dachau Industry Park Evolves From Concentration Camp To Nudist Wellness Club (Brothel): In today’s Alpine Press review I would like to share with you a debate about selling sex in the German Town of Dachau, some tasteless ‘Gas Work‘ signage at the Munich holocaust memorial and a Bavarian registry office that greets hopeful clients with a sign reading ‘Fuck Off‘.
Dachau is much more challenged than most German cities when it comes to improving its image as a place to work. It was the site of the Nazi’s first concentration camp prior to the second world war where many thousands of prisoners were killed in terrible circumstances (for more info you can read about the experiments on live prisoners with malaria infected mosquitoes in my article here).
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Fortunately we now live in more enlightened times and today Dachau is trying to improve its image as a location for industrial development. However one area of business appears to be expanding rather quicker than the local planning authorities would like – the legal prostitution business. Currently there are five ‘exotic centres‘ in Dachau and the authorities are trying to avoid further growth in this industry.
For example – one application – for a Nudist Wellness Club in a previously existing brothel building – had already been approved but now the owners want to add an extension to the permit. The site has an apartment for a works manager (this in normal in German industrial parks where the units often have apartments attached for the manager or owner of the business). The owners would like to convert this apartment and provide improved restaurant facilities for its ‘wellness’ customers. This was rejected by the local authorities but the owners’ lawyer is appealing to the regional administrative court (a verdict is expected today – Friday 4th March 2016 – Watch this space!).
The lawyer for the nudist wellness club’s owner pointed out that these facilities are very similar to the nearby Thermal Health Centre at Erding – a huge spa centre which also has Freikörperkultur (FKK) or nudist facilities. Those readers familiar with Germany will be well aware of the Freikörperkultur (Free Body Culture) which reflects a desire of many locals not to be inhibited by textiles when they participate in recreational activities like sun-bathing. To read more about the Erding Therme and its ‘men only’ slides see my article here. Although there are nudist areas in the Erding spa centre it is not a brothel – a subtle difference to the proposed application in Dachau.
The owners of the Dachau FKK Wellness Club feel that it is unreasonable to only offer customers ‘standing room only‘ snacks and want to install some restaurant tables and chairs. This is the application they have proposed for their existing works manager’s apartment. The authorities, in their rejection of this application, stated that there are insufficient parking spaces to justify this extension. The nudist club currently has 14 parking spaces – the authorities consider 28 to be justified by the expansion. The brothel owners point out that the additional eating furniture simply improves the comfort for existing clients – it will not require more parking spaces – a brothel’s clients should not be forced to get their nourishment standing up.
The planning authorities in Dachau are worried that the explosion in brothels in the towns commercial district could lead to a Trading Down effect for the town. This could discourage further ‘higher quality’ industrial investment and residents. Clearly the owners of establishments like Cleopatra’s Brothel, the Paradiso Play Centre and the new FKK Wellness Club disagree believing they provide important services for the local industry. In Germany brothels are officially allowed in the industrial areas of any towns with more than 30,000 inhabitants.
Dachau is not the only town that is working hard to improve its image following unpleasant associations with the Nazi era. This week’s events reminded me of a tragic PR incident I came across last year. The German city of Munich has an impressive memorial to the victims of the Nazis (Platz der Opfer des Nationalsozialismus). However sometimes even the most innocent of good intentions can go badly wrong with some poorly considered sign writing.
The regional gas company needed to carry out some work on its network near the holocaust memorial and installed a sign to explain what it was doing and thank residents for their understanding. However these good intentions caused quite an uproar when the sign appeared saying (roughly translated) “Project – Working On The Gas Supply – For SS Victims“. Fortunately the sign was quickly changed – replacing the word ‘gas’ for ‘utilities’ (Versorgungsnetz)
Registry Office Turn Off
The final Alpine Press theme today comes from the Nürnberg registry office. 28 year old Julia Wißmeyer recently popped along to the office to discuss the arrangements for her forthcoming marriage. On that day the lady that dealt with Julia was not particularly communicative which had a somewhat dampening effect on her otherwise joyous state.
Then she looked more closely at the mat covering the clerk’s desk and noticed that some rather unusual stickers and messages had been attached. Interestingly they were positioned to be readable from the client’s side of the table which made it pretty clear who they were intended for. One read “Burn Out is for novices – I am already Fucked Off” (translated by yours trully – except for the FO bit which was in English). See the picture below:
As if this were not enough the two other messages for prospective marriage partners read: “Some people are living proof that brain failure doesn’t automatically lead to death” (the white one) and “I would really like to apologize – but I am simply not sorry” (the black one). Needless to say Julia’s visit to the registry office was not quite the happy event she had been expecting. Perhaps she can get married on-line? I understand there is now a clerical ‘position vacant’ at the registry office.
These reports are part of my desire to communicate to the wider world that Germany is a great source of humour (even when the locals do not always realise it themselves). To finish today’s article I have added a photo (below) of the picturesque German town of Traben-Trabach. This two-part town is positioned on both sides of the Moselle river (Mosel in German) not far from the Roman city of Trier. The registry office here is where (many moons ago) I was married in a much more friendly atmosphere than that which greeted poor Julia Wißmeyer in Nürnberg.
Chris Duggleby started his scientific career studying Bacteriology, Virology and Immunology at the Manchester University Medical School. From there he went on to spend over 35 in the chemicals and oil industries which included setting up a polymers research and development group in Geneva, Switzerland for a major international chemicals company. Following an MBA from Warwick University he went on to lead a number of international manufacturing and marketing operations in the Chemicals, Plastics and Oil industries. This included being the founding President of Formosa BP Chemicals Corporation in Asia. His work involved living and working in Europe, Asia, the USA, the Middle East, and Russia. More recently he was invited to take on a senior leadership position in the Audit Department of the BP International Oil Group. Here he used his global change and risk management experience to help the group reshape its management structures and processes following a major environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. He has now retired to focus on writing about risk management and producing music in his studios near London, in the Alps and Cape Town. If you are interested in risk management check out his RiskTuition.com or BizChangers.com (management of change) sites. He has also recently launched the JointVentureRisk.com site.
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