The house in Austria where Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was born will be converted into a human rights training center for police officers, BBC reported. The announcement was made by Austria’s Interior Ministry announced last week, after years of debate over how best to prevent it from becoming a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis.
Notably, Hitler was born in a building in northwest Austria’s Braunau am Inn, 284 km east of Vienna on April 20, 1889. He lived there until his family left when he was three years old. The building belonged to Gerlinde Pommer, whose family owned the building before Hitler’s birth, as per CNN.
In 2016, the government bought the building under a compulsory purchase order after a lengthy dispute. Later in 2019, it was revealed that the site would be used as a police station.
The decision was made based on the recommendations of an interdisciplinary expert commission concerned with depriving the property of its “mythical appeal to extremist circles,” the ministry said in a statement.
”It will be an office for the largest human rights organization in Austria – the police – and it will also be a center for training in this fundamentally important topic,” said commission member Hermann Feiner in a statement.
The building belonged to Gerlinde Pommer whose family owned the building for decades until the Interior Ministry began renting the site from her in 1972. It was sublet to various charities. However, the three-story house has been empty since 2011, when the tenant, a disability center, vacated the premises.
In 2016, the ministry was pushing to have it torn down, but the plans ran into angry resistance from politicians and historians. The government then acquired the building from Ms. Pommer after invoking “special legal authorisation”.
Construction work, estimated to cost $21.5 million, is expected to be completed in 2025.
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