Legal battle over Hitler's birth home continues

Lawyer representing former owner of Hitler's birth home in Austria seeks higher compensation after the government seized the property.

Nissan Tzur,

Hitler's birth home
Hitler's birth home
Reuters

A lawyer representing the former owner of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's birth home, Gerlinde Pommer, is seeking a higher compensation payout after the property was seized in 2017, Deutsche Welle reports.

"We have a very clear goal of €1.5 million [$1.7 million]," said the Salzburg-based lawyer, Gerhard Lebitsch.

The government took control of the building, located in the northern town of Braunau am Inn, in December of 2016, after MPs approved an expropriation law specifically aimed at the property.

The move came after years of wrangling with 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 declared she would challenge the move at the high court, which ultimately ruled in favor of the expropriation of the building.

The state has so far paid the former owner €310,000, but an appraiser recently valued the building at between €800,000 and €1.5 million. Lebitsch argues the payout to date is far too low, according to Deutsche Welle.

"The car park is the only parking spot in the downtown area that's big enough to merit mentioning," he said.

A court spokesman said a decision would likely come in January.

Hitler's family rented a top-floor apartment in the building for a few years around of the time of his birth in 1889. The family moved to Passau, just on the other side of the Austrian-German border, when he was three years old.

The property was bought by Martin Bormann, a close aide of Hitler, in 1938 and was placed under state protection. Austria returned the estate to its original owners after the war.

The government had leased the building for decades, but Pommer terminated the rental agreement in 2011 when the government wanted to renovate the property to make it more wheelchair accessible.

Hitler's birth home 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.




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