Austrian government drafts law to take over Hitler’s birthplace

Marcy Oster

Adolf Hitler in Munich in the spring of 1932. (Heinrich Hoffmann/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Adolf Hitler in Munich in the spring of 1932 (Heinrich Hoffmann/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The Austrian government has written a draft law that would transfer ownership of Adolf Hitler’s birthplace to the state.

The draft law, which was announced Tuesday by the country’s Interior Ministry, must be approved by the Parliament and should come before the legislative body sometime this year, according to reports.

The owner of the Braunau home has refused for the past several years to sell the property to the Austrian government, which is working to prevent the site in the German border town from becoming a shrine to the neo-Nazi community.

Gerlinde Pommer’s family has owned the house where Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, for more than a century. The town has tried for decades to purchase the building.


The ministry had rented the home for decades and sublet it to charitable organizations. The house, which draws neo-Nazi visitors, especially on the anniversary of Hitler’s birth, has stood empty for more than five years after the owner refused to authorize needed renovations.

The building is listed as a historical landmark and cannot be razed. Hitler’s name does not appear anywhere near the home.

A stone outside the home is inscribed with the words “Never again Fascism. In memory of millions of dead. For Peace, Freedom and Democracy.”

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