Hitler's birth home to turn into a police station

Austrian officials unveil plans to "neutralize" Nazi leader's birth house.

Elad Benari ,

Adolf Hitler's birth home
Adolf Hitler's birth home
Reuters

Austrian officials on Tuesday unveiled plans to "neutralize" Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's birth house by turning it into a police station, with the building receiving some cosmetic changes in the process, AFP reports.

The yellow corner house in the northern Austrian town of Braunau on the border with Germany, where Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, was taken into government control in 2016, after MPs approved an expropriation law specifically aimed at the property.

The move came after years of wrangling with the owner of the home, Gerlinde Pommer, who had been renting the house to the interior ministry since the 1970s and refused to sell it or carry out essential renovation works.

Pommer later campaigned to be compensated in full for the loss of her property.

Last year , a court ordered the Austrian government to pay Pommer 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million).

Austrian architecture firm Marte.Marte, run by two brothers, has been chosen from among 12 candidates to carry out the modifications to the property.

The government expects the work to cost some 5 million euros ($5.6 million) and be completed by early 2023.

"A new chapter will be opened for the future from the birth house of a dictator and mass murderer," Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said at a press conference announcing the plans, according to AFP.

Ministry official Hermann Feiner added that by adjusting the architecture and usage of the building the government aimed to "neutralize the entire premises".

Although Hitler only spent a short time at the property, it has attracted neo-Nazis and other extremists for years, with extremists making the trip to Braunau to take a picture in front of the building. Glorifying the Nazi era is a crime in Austria.

Officials said Tuesday that the 800-square-metre (8,600-square-feet) property -- which also has several garages and parking spaces located behind the main building -- would get two pointed gables but that much of the original structure would remain intact.

A commemorative plaque outside the building will also be removed and may be exhibited in a museum.



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