Fairytale venue with dark past for G7 summit in Germany

ELMAU CASTLE, GERMANY: G7 Leaders will gather from Sunday at a quintessential German site chosen by former chancellor Angela Merkel and recycled by her successor Olaf Scholz – a luxury hotel with a fairytale setting and a tumultuous past.
Elmau Castle, nestled in the Bavarian Alps, is a five-star resort that has been turned into a fortress for the three-day meeting of the rich nations club.
If stormy weather is forecast, Scholz will have a suitable backdrop for the meeting that will have Ukraine Warthe global food crisis and the health of the world’s democracies and the planet on the agenda.
“This chat club started as the G6 with six countries (in the 1970s) to discuss how to deal with oil crisis at that time,” Scholz said Saturday.
“Now it’s important that we talk about the situation today and make sure we stop climate change. ”
At the last summit here in 2015, US President Barack Obama agreed to take a walk in the village with Mrs. Merkel among feathered farmers and women in felt coats, who had makes Bavaria famous, with stops for a soft pretzels and a tall beer.
Scholz, nicknamed Scholzomat for his robotic style, is expected to follow a tighter schedule due to the crisis-laden show.
G7 presidents often choose postcard locations when planning their annual summit, ideally in a remote location that’s more vulnerable to police blockades than urban centers. . Castle Elmau Is no exception.
Luxury accommodation complete with 115 rooms and suites, swimming pool and spa.
To maintain security, high-ranking guests will be flown by helicopter to the castle, while a steel ring will keep thousands of anti-G7 protesters expected in the ski resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 15 kilometers (nine miles) down the road.
Some 18,000 policemen were mobilized from across Germany, some being held for days in mountain huts near the venue.
Scholz will go to great lengths to avoid the violent protests that destroyed the 2017 Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, which nearly cost him his job at the time as mayor of the city.
Despite a large security presence, red-faced Bavarian authorities this week admitted that eight buses used by federal police for the summit were destroyed in an arson attack. .
State Interior Minister Joachim Hermann blamed “leftist extremists” for trying to disrupt the event.
A train crash earlier this month on the route to Garmisch that killed five people also worried local officials. Bavarian police say they have opened an investigation into suspected negligent homicide against three railway employees due to a derailment.
Ms. Merkel said she chose Elmau Castle in part because of the way the site’s owners have come to grips with its Nazi history.
The Protestant philosopher and theologian Johannes Mueller built the castle during World War I, and when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Mueller pledged allegiance to the new Fuehrer even though he never joined the party. National Socialist.
But he publicly criticized the frenzied anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany as a “disgrace to Germany”, according to the hotel’s website, which, according to the hotel’s website, led to close scrutiny. by the Gestapo.
After World War II began, he prevented his beloved hotel from being occupied by Nazi troops for private use by renting it to the German army as a retreat for soldiers on the front lines. .
Mueller faced prosecution after the war for “glorifying Hitler both verbally and in writing,” as well as a conviction and loss of ownership of the hotel.
Elmau Castle was once a US military hospital and later a shelter for displaced people and Holocaust survivors in the years immediately following the war.
It said it now regularly hosts “events that contribute to German-Israeli and German-American understanding,” including lectures and debates.

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