Belgio / Storia

Hotel Genten



Indicazioni stradali

The Hotel Genten was destroyed in December 1944. It was located on what is now the parking lot next to Hotel Pip. In the first half of the 20th century, it was a central meeting point and a popular event location in Sankt Vith.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the hotel was an important meeting point for locals and passers by. The owners were a well known family of the town. The banquet hall was a place for gatherings of all kinds such as concerts, club meetings, balls, dancing lessons and theatre plays. In the late 1930’s it also became a cinema.

At this time, it had also developed into the local headquarters of the Heimattreue Front (HF), an East Belgian party with close connexions to the German NSDAP. The family was openly German friendly. After the annexation by Nazi Germany in 1940, the hotel continued its business and hosted at times high ranking Nazi officials. The banquet hall became the setting for Nazi propaganda events and films and the Hauptstraße (Main Street) was remained named Adolf-Hitler-Straße (Adolf Hitler Street).

The arrival of US troops in September 1944 was not felt as a liberation for everyone. Indeed, German friendly citizens and explicit Nazi activists from Sankt Vith and the surrounding area fled in a ‘big trek’ or by their own means towards Germany. Some of them did not return. This was also the case for the Genten family.

Due to the German friendly attitude of the Genten family, the Belgian administration put the hotel under sequester in September 1944. A few months later, it was destroyed during the heavy bombings at Christmas. After the war, the hotel was not rebuilt.

In the course of the purges, hotel owner Albert Genten was condemned for collaboration. As an ‘uncivic’, he lost his civil and political rights in Belgium and therefore stayed with his family in Germany. However, the weight of the past and the result of the purges resulted in a deep depression, and he eventually took his life.

Hauptstraße, 4780, Sankt Vith