The lakeside hotel where Adolf Hitler arrested the leader of the Nazi party's Brownshirt street fighters in 1934 during the infamous 'Night of the Long Knives' is set to be demolished.
The Lederer in the spa town of Bad Wiessee, Upper Bavaria, was called the Hanselbauer in the 1930s and was a favourite retreat of Sturmabteilung (SA), or Brownshirt, leader Ernst Roehm.
Roehm was a former World War One trench fighter who moulded some three million Germans into brawling paramilitaries for Hitler's Nazi party from the early 1920s.
But by the summer of 1934 Roehm was becoming a problem for Hitler, who had risen to become German chancellor in January the year before.
The Brownshirts dwarfed the 100,000-strong German Army, and was increasingly vocal in favour of Hitler carrying out the Nazi party's early revolutionary agenda.
But Hitler backed the experience of the army and courted big business, who he wanted to finance expanding military production.
Wary of the Brownshirts' power Hitler's close associates such as Heinrich Himmler and Herman Göring worked hard to turn their leader against the SA, fomenting rumours that Röhm planned to topple Hitler.
Events came to a head in the early hours of 30 June 1934 when Hitler drove to the hotel for a final reckoning with Roehm. He took with him a number of his Schutzstaffel (SS) bodyguards, also known as the Blackshirts.
With a whip in one hand and a pistol in the other he woke Roehm, who was in bed with a young SA male recruit in room number seven, on the first floor of the hotel.
The first executions of SA men and other opponents began that night and continued for weeks, ending in as many as 400 deaths. Roehm was shot in a Munich prison the next day.
Bulldozers set to arrive
Centuries of laws were swept aside as Hitler announced himself Furher in August 1934. The SA was emasculated and lost out to the new terror force in Germany – the SS.
But this unique historical site is scheduled to be torn down unless 78-year-old Josef Lederer – son of the innkeeper on that fateful night – can find someone to rescue it.
The Lederer became a postwar magnet for tourists, many of whom wanted to sleep in the infamous room number seven where Roehm had spent the night.
It became known as a spa hotel where tired housewives and run down businessmen could enjoy breaks paid for by their health insurance funds.
But the hotel has hit on hard times. Big football teams, such as Bayern Munich or the 1974 Brazil World Cup squad, no longer come to stay, and the banks called in the loans they had dished out in the 60s and 70s for much needed renovations.
Lederer managed to stave off the creditors and now lives in the collapsing building with a former housekeeper, trying to appeal to conservationists and historians to keep the place going. The hotel has been condemned and slated for demolition.
"I have no truck with Hitler and the Nazis but history happened here and it deserves to be remembered," he told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
But the excavators and bulldozers are due to arrive in October unless he can convince a buyer to rescue the building.