Looking at all those photos and newsreels at the end of WW2 you might be forgiven for thinking every Nazi building was destroyed in Berlin. But no! A large number survived. And many are now protected by preservation orders and are being refurbished and put to modern use. The latest to emerge from the shadows is the former swimming pool of the Leibstandarte SS "Adolf Hitler". When built in the 1930s this was the largest indoor pool in Europe. Here's a picture of it taken in 1939. You can see the SS men swimming. One is leaping off the diving tower. Look how tiny they appear compared to the size of the building:- This pool has just been refurbished and opened to the public for the first time. Anyone can now go and swim there. During renovation the diving tower was removed and the pool made shallower to save water. The glass ceiling was also replaced and acoustic tiles installed to cut down echo. But it's substantially the same building. There's been no great flurry of publicity. As far as I can see most of the press have ignored the event. But photos have been quietly appearing on the internet and I thought members would like to see some of them. Here's what the SS swimming pool looks like now:-. As this was built for Hitler’s personal bodyguard he must have approved the design. And what do we find? The building is constructed of red brick - like Hampton Court:- Here's another photo of that red-brick exterior. This is high quality workmanship - no expense spared:- The building has a striking modern interior with mosaic floors and marble-clad walls. It’s light and airy - and dare one say elegant:- What on earth is going on here? If one believes the critics Nazi architecture was supposed to be heavy and gauche. Nikolaus Pevsner refused to discuss Nazi buildings in his book “An Outline of European Architecture”. He boycotted the subject. But this SS swimming pool - the ultimate swimming pool in the Third Reich - is difficult to ignore:- And here is the view from the balcony. Note the polished marble:- Attached to a wall outside is a brief history of the building including photos showing what it was like when the SS were here. You can see how tall was the diving tower. Not for the faint-hearted! I said the swimming pool had emerged from the shadows. In fact it never disappeared. You can find it in the Lichterfelde-West locality in Berlin. Lichterfelde was chosen as the seat of the Prussian Main Military academy (Hauptkadettenanstalt) in 1882, and the district became home to many famous German noble families linked to the Prussian Army. Between 1920 and 1933, the former military academy in Lichterfelde was used by the Berlin Police. Then from 1933 to 1945, the military academy became the home of the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. During the Night of the Long Knives many people were shot in the grounds. The barracks escaped the worst of the bombing during WW2. From 1945 to 1994 the Hauptkadettenanstalt was used as "Andrews Barracks" by the United States Army Berlin Brigade. Today it belongs to the German Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv). Despite WW2 Lichterfelde-West is still largely intact and is one of the prime residential areas of Berlin. The windows of the swimming pool are about 50 feet high. And the building looks particularly striking at night. Note the tiny swimmer in one of the windows. This is a large building:- How much did the refurbishment cost? Between 12 and 13 million Euros. Compare that with £269 million to build the swimming pool for the London Olympics. You can see why Berliners would prefer to refurbish a high quality building even it it has - to put it mildly! - a controversial past.