POST TIME: 22 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Hitler’s birth home to become police station

Hitler’s birth home to become police station

After years of wrangling over the future of the butter-yellow house in Austria where Hitler was born, the authorities have decided to turn the building into a police station, in a bid make it less of a magnet for neo-Nazis. With the move, announced by the interior minister on Tuesday, the Austrian authorities hope to send a clear message to supporters of far-right extremism that the three-story building in downtown Braunau am Inn, near Austria’s border with Germany, will not be a shrine to Hitler.

“The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis been permanently revoked,” Wolfgang Peschorn, the interior minister of Austria, said in a statement. The building has posed a problem for the authorities for the past seven decades. The building’s owner had refused

for years to renovate it, making tenants hard to find. Admirers of Hitler, born there in 1889, kept returning.

The Interior Ministry took over the main lease from the family that owned the building in 1972 to ensure it had the final say on the use of the building. In 1984, the government sought to acquire the building outright from Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners, who by that time had sole possession of the property, but she refused to sell. At the same time, she also refused to invest in the building, making it difficult for the government to find a tenant who met the requirement to use it only for administrative, educational or social services purposes. In 2017, the government seized the building from Ms. Pommer, bringing an end to the dispute.