Austria Moves to Seize Hitler’s Birth Home

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 has announced a bill that will allow the government to seize ownership of the house that Adolf Hitler was born in.

The owner of the home, Gerlinde Pommer, has refused to sell the empty house in Braunau am Inn to the government. The government is seeking to prevent pilgrimages by neo-Nazis.

Karl-Heinz Grundböck had previously told a newspaper in Austria that the government had decided that “expropriation is the only way to prevent the house being used for the purposes of Nazi revivalism.”

Although the proposal is only a draft which needs approval by parliament before it can become law, the government is in the majority and can count on support from minority parties. A vote is expected this year. The government is considering options that include tearing the house down or turning it into a museum where the horrors the Nazis inflicted on the world would be recounted.

The building is vacant because since 2011 the government has paid thousands of dollars in monthly rent to prevent people sympathetic to the Nazis from moving in. Now the government is looking to keep them from showing up to honor the former Nazi leader.

Ian Harvey

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