The three-story building at Braunau am Inn, near the German border, should be repurposed to help authorities hope it becomes a place of pilgrimage for Nazi sympathizers.
Hitler was born in an apartment building on April 20, 1889, while his father worked as a customs officer in the city. The family left Braunau am Inn, which was then part of Austro-Hungary when Hitler was three years old.
The bull in which Adolf Hitler was born, painted in 2015. Credit: Joe Klamar / AFP / Getty Images
According to a government statement, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told a news conference on Tuesday that the city had become “the antithesis of everything (which Hitler) advocated.”
A discussion is ongoing
The fate of the building has long been a contentious issue in the city, where many want to tear down a painful reminder of Hitler’s short time there.
Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer presents a selected plan for the architectural renovation of the house where Hitler was born Credit: JOE KLAMAR / AFP / AFP via Getty Images
For decades, the controversial building belonged to Gerlinde Pommer, whose family owned the property before Hitler was born. The Austrian Ministry of the Interior began renting the place from her in 1972, handing it over to various charities. But the building has remained empty since the last passenger, a disability center, was vacated in 2011.
Legal disputes over confiscation and compensation ensued during which plans to demolish the building were thwarted.
The exterior of the building is shown in digital models by the Austrian architectural firm Marte.Marte, which won the tender to renovate the site. Credit: Marte.Marte
After securing the place, the Austrian government remained concerned that it might attract neo-Nazis and others sympathetic to Hitler’s ideology. Announcing the decision to transform it into a police station last year, then-Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Peschorn said “future use of the house by the police will be an unmistakable signal that this building will never serve as a sign of National Socialism glory.”
Renovation work on the building is expected to be completed in early 2023 and will cost about 5m euros ($ 5.6m).