Austria Attempting to Tear Down House Hitler Was Born In

Adolf Hitler as an infant (c.1889–90) and his birth house in Braunau am Inn (Austria) in about 1934.
Source: Wikipedia
Adolf Hitler as an infant (c.1889–90) and his birth house in Braunau am Inn (Austria) in about 1934. Source: Wikipedia

The Interior Minister of Austria said that he would like to tear down the house where Adolf Hitler was born to prevent it from becoming a neo-Nazi pilgrimage site. The Austrian government made a move on Tuesday to make that possible.

Hitler’s family only lived in the house for three years around his birth in the town of Braunau am Inn. The three-story, pale yellow house has been a subject of controversy almost ever since that day.

The government has agreed on a law that will allow it to take ownership of the building. The landlord refuses to sell it. The bill will be sent to Parliament.

Wolfgang Sobotka is the Interior Minister. At a press conference before the cabinet meeting, he told reporters, “The decision is necessary because the Republic would like to prevent this house from becoming a “cult site” for neo-Nazis in any way, which it has repeatedly been in the past when people gathered there to shout slogans.”

He added that is his vision to see the house torn down. A twelve-member commission has been formed to decide the fate of the building.

The building is owned by a retired local woman. Austria’s interior ministry rents the building for approximately 4800 euros per month. The owner has resisted ideas for future use of her building.

If the bill passes parliament, the owner will have no right to appeal the decision or negotiate her payment. The payment will align with what is paid for houses evicted due to railway expansion.

There has been debate over whether Austria was a willing accomplice to Nazi Germany or the first victim after they were annexed by Germany in 1938.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE