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Austria to convert Hitler’s birth home into police station

Vienna took control of the building in Braunau in 2016, in a bid to prevent it from becoming a neo-Nazi shrine.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and German Chancellor Adolf Hitler leave their meeting at Bad Godesberg, Germany, on Sept. 23 1938. Source: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and German Chancellor Adolf Hitler leave their meeting at Bad Godesberg, Germany, on Sept. 23 1938. Source: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

Austrian authorities will press forward with a plan to convert Adolf Hitler’s first home into a police station, replete with a human rights training center, AFP reported on Monday.

Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, in the town of Braunau am Inn in modern-day Austria, and lived there until the age of three.

In 2016, Vienna took control of the building in a bid to prevent it from becoming a neo-Nazi shrine.

The expropriation came after years of legal wrangling with the building’s longtime owner, Gerlinde Pommer, who had been renting the property to the Interior Ministry since the 1970s and refused to sell or adequately maintain it.

Austrian director Guenter Schwaiger, who is due to release a documentary about the house later this month, told AFP that plans will “always be suspected” of being “in line with the dictator’s [Hitler] wishes.”

Schwaiger cited the discovery of a local newspaper article from May 10, 1939, saying Hitler’s wish was to have his birth home converted into offices for local authorities.

Schwaiger called on the Austrian government to rethink the move.

The renovations are set to begin on Oct. 2, with the controversial redesign of the 8,600 square foot corner house estimated to cost some $21.76 million.

The project is expected to be completed by 2025, with the police station becoming operational the following year.

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