Austria’s government on Tuesday moved to seize the house where Adolf Hitler was born to prevent it becoming a site of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis, and the country’s minister of the interior said he wanted to tear it down.
Hitler’s family lived in the house in Braunau on the Inn for three years near his birth on April 20, 1889. The fate of the three-story building coated in pale yellow paint has long been the subject of controversy.
An Austrian Ministry of the Interior spokesman said the government has drawn up a draft law to take ownership after the building’s landlord, a local woman, had refused to sell it to the state.
The bill now goes before parliament.
“The decision is necessary because the republic would like to prevent this house from becoming a ‘cult site’ for neo-Nazis in any way, which it has been repeatedly in the past, when people gathered there to shout slogans,” Austrian Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Sobotka told reporters before a Cabinet meeting. “It is my vision to tear down the house.”
A commission consisting of 12 members from the fields of politics, administration, academia and civic society will ultimately decide the fate of the building.
A retired woman owns the property, which the ministry has been renting since 1972 and has sublet to Braunau. The ministry pays about 4,800 euros (US$5,303) a month in rent.
The building used to house workshops for disabled people, but has been empty since 2011, because the owner repeatedly rejected ideas for the future use of the house and purchase offers from the state, the ministry spokesman said.
Once the law has passed parliament, the owner has no right to appeal the decision or negotiate her compensation, which will be in line with the sum paid to home owners evicted in the course of railway line construction, he said.
Debate still smoulders over whether Austrians were willing accomplices to Hitler, many having cheered his return to his country of birth at the time, or the first victims of a dictatorship that cost tens of millions of lives.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete