Hitler's Birthplace to Get 'Downright Most Suitable Use'

Austrian cops to move in after $5.6M refurbishment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 2, 2020 11:10 AM CDT
Austria Settles on Plan for Hilter's Old House
This Sept. 27, 2012, file photo shows an exterior view of Adolf Hitler's birth house in Braunau am Inn, Austria.   (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson,file)

Austrian authorities have presented the winning plan to redesign the house where Adolf Hitler was born in 1889: They will turn it into a police station and try to make it unattractive as a pilgrimage site for people who glorify the Nazi dictator. A design by Austrian architects Marte.Marte beat 11 competitors in an interior ministry proposal, officials announced Tuesday, per the AP. The refurbishment is expected to be complete around the end of 2022 and will cost $5.6 million. The overhaul follows a yearslong back-and-forth over the ownership and future use of the three-level house in Braunau am Inn, on the German border, which was resolved in 2017 when Austria's highest court ruled that the government was within its rights to expropriate the building after its owner refused to sell it.

A suggestion it might be demolished was shelved, and the government announced in November that police would use the building. It will house the regional command and a police station. "Some people might ask—is this the right use for this, putting the police in there? It is the downright most suitable use," Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said Tuesday. "Why? The police are the guardians of basic liberties and freedoms. Police officers in training see themselves as partners of citizens and as those who protect freedom, the right to assembly and freedom of speech." The winning design takes a simple, modernizing approach to the relatively modest building, which was rented by Austria's interior ministry since 1972 to prevent its misuse. It was sublet to charitable groups but has been vacant since 2011. (More Adolf Hitler stories.)

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