06:45 GMT26 September 2020
Listen Live
    Europe
    Get short URL
    151038
    Subscribe

    Vienna said on Monday that they will tear down the house where Adolf Hitler was born, and replace it with an as-yet-unannounced structure, as it has become a popular spot for neo-Nazis.

    While the demolition plan must be formally voted on in Parliament, it is expected to pass with no dissent.

    "A thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building,” Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said of the recommendation that the house be destroyed.

    In the statement, ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck stressed that a new structure, with no ties to Hitler, be erected in its place. The commission recommending demolition believes that leaving the site empty could be perceived as a "denial of Austrian history."

    The government had been struggling with the current owner to obtain the property in the town of Braunau am Inn, as she adamantly refused to sell the building or renovate it to diminish the symbolic appeal to neo-Nazi visitors. This year, the government launched a formal effort to claim eminent domain and expropriate the home, and the Interior Ministry plans to finalize a draft law which will allow them to seize the house by the end of the year.

    While anti-Nazi groups and Jewish community leaders support the plan to raze the three-story yellow house, historians have argued that there are only a few structures left linked to Hitler, and that it should therefore be preserved.

    In 1983, then-mayor of the town of Braunau am Inn, Hermann Fuchs, offered to place a memorial tablet directly on the house. The owner refused the questionable honor, explaining that a plaque would draw unwelcome attention.

    In 1989, however, a stone memorial was placed on public land directly in front of the house. The memorial is titled "Memorial Stone Against War and Fascism," and has the inscription:

    “FÜR FRIEDEN, FREIHEIT

    UND DEMOKRATIE

    NIE WIEDER FASCHISMUS

    MILLIONEN TOTE MAHNEN”

    Which translates to:

    “For Peace, Freedom

    and Democracy.

    Never Again Fascism.

    Millions of Dead Remind [us]".

    The house has been vacant since 2011, and was formerly used by a nonprofit group for disability workshops.

    Related:

    Minority Students Disciplined for Wearing KKK Costumes to Florida High School
    Not 'O-KKK'! Former UK Justice Secretary Asked to Say Sorry for Racist Remarks
    Former KKK Leader Hijacks Trump Platform, Republican Party in US Senate Bid
    Following Colorado Student Suicide, At Least 5 More Expelled for Nazi Chat Group
    'Predicted' Rise in Neo-Nazi Crimes in Austria Reported Amid Refugee Crisis
    Tags:
    Nazi, Karl-Heinz Grundboeck, Wolfgang Sobotka, Adolf Hitler, Austria
    Community standardsDiscussion