Austrian government decides to confiscate Hitler's birth house

Austria will seize the house where Adolf Hitler was born from its private owner to prevent it from becoming an attraction for neo-Nazis, the government decided Tuesday.

The government has tried since 1984 to buy the property in Braunau near the German border, but the woman who owns it refused to sell.

Neo-Nazis have reportedly visited Braunau in past years to get a look at the house of Germany's former Nazi dictator.

It is not yet clear how the yellow three-storey house will be used.

"As it cannot be razed, it will be put to some sort of educational use," Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner said.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka wanted to demolish the building, but it is part of Braunau's old town, which is under heritage protection.

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman confirmed that the cabinet agreed on a bill to confiscate the house. The bill still requires a vote in parliament, where the governing coalition's majority is expected to pass it.

The Hitler family rented an apartment in the building for the first year after Adolf Hitler's birth in 1889. A senior Nazi party official bought it during World War II and opened it to the public.

After the war, the house was returned to it original owners. The Interior Ministry rented it and used it to house a workshop for disabled people.

However, the owner refused to adapt the building for disabled people and failed to agree with the government on a new use or on a sale.

Last update: Tue, 12/07/2016 - 17:23
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