Hitler's birthplace gets makeover as police station


Posted at Oct 03 2023 08:06 AM

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After years of debate, construction work to turn the house where Adolf Hitler was born into a police station has begun on Monday (October 2). 

Many years of public dispute were circling around the question on how best to prevent the house becoming a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. The decision to turn it into a station for the local police was announced in 2019 by the interior ministry.

Austria, which owns the property, had then invited architects from all over Europe to submit plans for a redesign of the building. However, opposition to the plan remained.

A survey commissioned by a people’s initiative concluded that only 6 percent of Austrians were in favour of using the birthplace of the Nazi-dictator as a police station. 

Erich Marschall who took part in the initiative told Reuters, the citizens of Braunau had not been included enough in the debate. Turning the house into a memorial or renting it privately was among the suggestions for the building.

Although Hitler was born in Braunau in 1889, Austria argued for decades that it was the first victim of National Socialism, having been annexed by Hitler's Germany in 1938.

Recent governments have, however, recognised that Austrians were also perpetrators of Nazi crimes and that there was little resistance to Hitler's rule.