Usedom: A Clear View of the Sea

OCOpen Caption screening
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Usedom: A Clear View of the Sea

For Berliners, the Baltic island of Usedom was once the most luxurious destination for excursions within striking distance of the city, and where imperial Germany’s grand health resorts of Bansin, Heringsdorf, and Ahlbeck were built. Heinz Brinkmann—who was born in Heringsdorf—traces the eventful history of his island, from the magnificent villas on Europe’s longest beach promenade and the expulsion of Jewish citizens by the Nazis to Usedom’s division into German and Polish halves after WWII. During the GDR era, lack of means and resources to build any new construction ensured that most of the island’s spa architecture remained intact. Since the fall of the Wall, however, investors have been trying to replace it with indistinguishable luxury residences. In Usedom, we hear from the mayor infuriated by the architectural eyesores of recent years, a farmer who bought an island in the Achterwasser lagoon for his organic cattle, a Polish hotel manageress, and other bridge-builders between the two countries.

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