It has been announced that the Austrian house that Adolf Hitler was born in will be converted into the headquarters for a disability charity. The 800-square-metre building property will be seized from its current owner, Gerlinde Pommer, who refused to sell the property for years or renovate it the way the authorities in Braunau am Inn had requested.
Hitler was born on the top floor of the three-storey house on 20 April 1889, although he and his family moved away when he was very young. While authorities have long wished to prevent the building becoming a shrine for the neo-Nazi supporters who still make their way to see it, heritage experts didn’t want it pulled down, arguing that the house has an important place in Braunau’s architectural history.
Josef Puehringer, governor of Upper Austria, said in a statement that converting the house to a charity headquarters would be “a life-affirming statement, a homage to the victims of National Socialism and a clear symbol against the crimes committed by Hitler.”
Gerlinde once ran the house as a guesthouse, and her family has owned the property for nearly a century. She was compensated with a generous level of rent from the government to prevent it becoming a lure for neo-Nazi tourists. She will now be compensated for the government seizure of the building.