• Austria's news in English
 

Hitler's house to become migrant centre?

Published: 14 May 2014 11:02 GMT+02:00

The Renaissance-era structure, located near the central square of the picturesque town of Braunau in Upper Austria, is considered prime real estate. 

At a recent 'Birthplace Summit', held at the Interior Ministry in early May, the house's current owner and representatives from Braunau met with Austria's Interior Ministry to discuss the fate of the controversial building.

For decades however, the shadow of Adolf Hitler - its most infamous son - has hung over the former guest house, creating a constant headache for Braunau's administration.

Born on April 20th, 1889, Hitler lived at Salzburger Vorstadt 15 until he was three.

In 1938, shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Martin Bormann, Hitler's private secretary, purchased the house on behalf of the Nazi Party for four times its market value, with plans to turn it into a shrine to the dictator.

Currently owned by a retired local woman who refuses to reveal her identity, the building has been rented by the Austrian Interior Ministry since 1972.

While the Interior Ministry has carefully vetted tenants to ensure no Hitler-admirers can occupy the premises, the owner has refused to let Braunau officials hang a plaque warning of the evils of fascism.

Until now, the building has been used as a library, bank, technical high school and most recently as a workshop for the mentally handicapped.

A previous proposal to convert the house into a living space sparked fears the building may fill with Hitler worshippers. Suggestions to create an anti-Nazi memorial have also been rejected.

After remaining empty for the past two years, it seems the owner may now be ready to agree to a new plan for the dilapidated house - as an integration office and language school for migrants, according to a report in Der Standard newspaper. 

After some 'difficult' discussions, representatives from Braunau and the Interior Ministry are optimistic that a solution will soon be reached.

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Abusive defrocked priest denied jail appeal
A view of Kremsmünster Abbey. File photo: APA/Rubra

Abusive defrocked priest denied jail appeal

An 81-year-old former priest sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexual and physical abuse of at least 24 victims has had his sentence confirmed by the Higher Regional Court in Linz on Thursday. READ  

Saudi Arabia 'not pleased' with Austria
The KAICIID headquarters in Vienna. Photo: APA/Neubauer

Saudi Arabia 'not pleased' with Austria

Saudi Arabia is reportedly outraged by the debate around a religious dialogue centre it has financed in Vienna, according to diplomatic insiders quoted in Austrian media. READ  

Man jailed for far-right Facebook comments
Photo: APA

Man jailed for far-right Facebook comments

A 36-year-old man from Lower Austria has received an 18 month conditional prison sentence and been ordered to pay a €500 fine for making far-right statements on Facebook. READ  

Almost a third of Austrians are single
Happily single or seeking that special someone? Photo: dpa/lhe

Almost a third of Austrians are single

Lonely hearts might want to consider dating an Austrian, as almost a third are single, according to a survey which polling institute Marketagent.com carried out on behalf of the online dating agency Parship.at. READ  

11 years jail for kidnapping at gunpoint
Photo: Criminal Court in Graz

11 years jail for kidnapping at gunpoint

A 28-year-old Slovakian man was sentenced to 11 years in prison in Graz on Wednesday, for an aggravated car-jacking and armed robbery. READ  

Police ban left-wing rallies ahead of ball
Scenes from last year's demonstration. Photo: APA/OCZERET

Police ban left-wing rallies ahead of ball

Police in Vienna are preparing for “higher levels of violence than expected” on Friday as left-wing protesters have promised to disrupt the right-wing Akademikerball which takes place for the third time at Vienna’s imperial Hofburg palace - despite two planned rallies having been banned. READ  

Runaway 'kangaroo' spotted in garden
File photo, just in case you forgot what a kangaroo looks like: Shutterstock

Runaway 'kangaroo' spotted in garden

"Is someone missing their kangaroo?" asked people in the small community of Innviertler Maria Schmolln (District Braunau) on Tuesday. Update: Gustav has been recaptured! READ  

Teacher suspended for defending Paris attacks
Photo: EPA/BILAWAL ARBAB

Teacher suspended for defending Paris attacks

An Islamic studies teacher from Graz has been suspended by Styria’s State Board of Education after allegedly defending the recent attacks in Paris during a lesson. READ  

7000 granted asylum in Austria in 2014
Posters from a demonstration in support of asylum seekers. Photo: APA/OCZERET

7000 granted asylum in Austria in 2014

Around 7,000 people were granted asylum in Austria last year, according to figures from the new federal office for asylum seekers (BFA). READ  

Austria to have new 'House of History'
The Hofburg. Photo: APA/Neubauer

Austria to have new 'House of History'

Austria is planning to open a new museum which will cast a critical eye on the country’s history and journey to democracy. It will be located on Vienna’s Heldenplatz, in the Hofburg Palace. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Celebrating immigration with beautiful accessories
Gallery
Sponsored: Fun factory for the under-fives
Health
Help Me Helen: How to avoid invalidating others
International
How should Austria respond to Russia's new aggressive foreign policy?
Health
Expat Profile: Helen Rudinsky
Features
How Austria's music scene inspired the pioneer of Electro Swing
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Features
Bitcoins are growing in Austria - but what are they?
National
12,000 support IAmCharlie in Vienna
Health
Gender identity is all in your head.
Technology
How to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus
Gallery
Daniel Craig enjoys the view with Lea Seydoux and Dave Bautista
Culture
Celebrate an Austrian New Year with The Local
National
Top stories on The Local in 2014
Culture
Our pick of the best German language idioms
Travel & Tourism
The most common mistakes tourists make in Austria
Society
Afghan refugees get integration help
Society
Waiting to be smuggled into Austria after a tortuous journey
Culture
Facing up to death over coffee and cake
Gallery
What foods did Austrians search the most in 2014?
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Society
Vienna's Ring is about to celebrate its 150th birthday
Travel & Tourism
A slice of Austria in northern California
International
An Austrian surgeon is working to repair broken bodies in Ukraine
Travel & Tourism
Tales of Couchsurfing in Vienna
International
Nuclear incidents show dangers of weapons
Gallery
Ten things to know before you party with an Austrian
Society
The Congress of Vienna revisited
Society
New museum houses memories of Kindertransport children
International
Is Vienna at the heart of a possible new European war?
Gallery
Images from the ice storm which hit Lower Austria on the weekend
National
Returning home after 20 years away and starting a business
National
Holocaust survivors' family retrace grandparents' steps in Vienna
International
An alpine village welcomes asylum seekers
Culture
Painting is a journey of discovery for Russian artist in Vienna
Gallery
Top 10 mistakes Austrians make in English
Culture
Guide to Austrian coffee
Gallery
Ten of the most delicious Austrian desserts you shouldn't miss
Features
No picnic with Italian bears
Features
Building a new life in Austria
National
12 etiquette tips to help you make friends in Austria
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

298
jobs available