Fresh attempt to seize Hitler's birth house
The Local · 27 May 2016, 19:01
Published: 27 May 2016 19:01 GMT+02:00
- Murder-suicide in Braunau am Inn, birthplace of Hitler (27 May 16)
- Austria mulls law to seize Hitler birthplace (09 Apr 16)
- Hitler birth house haunts Austrian town (29 Apr 15)
- Hitler's childhood home in legal battle (15 Jan 15)
The large corner house in the quaint northern town of Braunau am Inn near the German border where the Nazi dictator was born in 1889 has been owned by the family of a local woman for more than a century.
In 1972 the government signed a lease with the owner and turned it into a centre for people with disabilities, but the arrangement came to an abrupt end five years ago when she refused to grant permission for renovation works.
The government said on April 9 it decided to seize the property, with the building -- which cannot be demolished because it is in the town's historic centre and therefore under heritage protection -- empty since 2011.
"Representatives of the interior ministry have been trying for several years to buy the property, but these attempts failed... Now the only option is to transfer ownership to the Austrian Republic through expropriation," the interior ministry said on Friday.
The approximately 800 square metre property currently costs the state €4,800 a month. The tenancy agreement states that it may not be used as a museum, or in any historical context, and that the owner must consent to any new tenant.
Pommer, who is shy of talking to the media, will receive "adequate compensation," it said in a statement.
The issue has sparked heated debate among Braunau's 17,000 residents. Some want it to become a refugee centre, others a museum dedicated to Austria's liberation and others demolition.
Outside there is a stone memorial that reads: "For Peace, Freedom and Democracy. Never Again Fascism, Millions of Dead Warn."