Austria MPs vote to seize Hitler birth house
Austrian MPs have voted to expropriate the home where Adolf Hitler was born, ending years of bitter legal wrangling with the current owner over the infamous building’s future.
A large majority approved the new law, which was submitted by the government earlier this year in a bid to stop the dilapidated house in the northern town of Braunau am Inn from becoming a neo-Nazi shrine.
Local resident Gerlinde Pommer -- who has been renting the premises to the Austrian state since 1972 -- will receive compensation under the legislation.
It is not yet clear what will happen with the yellow corner house at Number 15 Salzburger Vorstadt Street, located right in Braunau’s historic centre.
In October, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka announced it would be “torn down” to make place for a new building to be used by a charity.
He said the decision was based on recommendations from an expert committee.
But several of the 13-member panel were quick to deny that the commission had backed Sobotka’s push to bulldoze the place where Hitler was born on April 20, 1889.
“A demolition would amount to negating Austria’s Nazi past,” the experts said in a joint statement in October.
Although Hitler only spent the first few weeks of his life there, the address has been a thorn in Austria’s side for decades, drawing Nazi sympathisers from around the world.