Tuesday October 22, 2019

Austrian Government to Demolish Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler’s Birth House

Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said the new structure will be used thereafter by either a charity or the local authorities

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FILE - This Sept. 27, 2012, photo shows an exterior view of Adolf Hitler's birth house, front, in Braunau, Austria. Austria's government said on Mondaythat it plans to tear down the house and replace it with a new building.VOA

Austria, October 18, 2016: After years of bitter legal wrangling, the Austrian government announced plans Monday to demolish the house where Adolf Hitler was born and replace it with a new building in efforts to erase any link to the Nazi dictator’s birthplace.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said in an exclusive interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presse the Hitler house in the western town of Braunau will be torn down. He said the new structure “will be used thereafter by either a charity or the local authorities.”

Sobotka said he wants to ensure any association with Hitler be eliminated and to prevent Hitler’s birthplace from becoming a kind of “pilgrimage [site] and memorial” for neo-Nazis.

The owner had repeatedly refused to sell the building. It is unclear whether she changed her mind or if the government dispossessed her.

Sobotka said, “a thorough architectural remodelling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building.”

Die Presse provided the following information about the house:

– Hitler was born in the house in Braunau, at “Salzburger Vorstadt 15” on April 20, 1889, but the family moved elsewhere in the town a few weeks after his birth.

– In 1938, Hitler’s confidant Martin Bormann bought the building at a high price. The Nazis rehabilitated the house and established a “cultural center” there.

– By the end of World War II, Nazis tried to blow up the building, but Americans entered the town before such plans were materialized.

– In 1952, the original owner’s family bought the house back and a library was set up. Afterwards, a school, a bank and a technical institute rented the rooms until it became a home for the disabled, but they moved to more modern homes in 2011 because the owner did not agree to the necessary accommodation changes of the house.

– In 2012, there were plans to demolish the house. Russian politician Franz Klinzewitsch wanted to buy the building and demolish it, but nothing went through, since the house was under monument protection as a building from the 17th century.

– Negotiations about selling the house to the Austrian Republic had failed. The house is empty and needs a general renovation. The owner nevertheless earns money from it, because the Ministry of the Interior and the town of Braunau pay their monthly rent of 4,700 euros.(VOA)

  • Diksha Arya

    The house of a leader who initiated World War II would be would be used by a charity..

  • Ruchika Kumari

    Good initiative,Charity should be appreciated across the globe

Next Story

Video Sting Operation in Austria Brings Down Government

In the footage, Strache discussed rules on party financing and how to work around them, although he also insisted on having to act legally

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austria, video sting
Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache reacts as he addresses the media in Vienna, May 18, 2019. VOA

Austria raced Saturday toward a snap election as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pulled the plug on his coalition with the far right after its leader was caught on video offering to fix state contracts with a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece.

The far-right Freedom Party’s Heinz-Christian Strache resigned as vice chancellor and party leader after the video was released by two German news organizations. He acknowledged that the video was “catastrophic” but denied breaking the law.

Kurz, a conservative who formed a coalition with the Freedom Party a year and a half ago, said the apparent video sting, in which Strache discusses contracts in return for financial or political favors, was the last straw in the relationship.

Austria raced Saturday toward a snap election as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pulled the plug on his coalition with the far right after its leader was caught on video offering to fix state contracts with a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece.

austria, video sting
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz talks to reporters in Vienna, May 18, 2019. VOA

The far-right Freedom Party’s Heinz-Christian Strache resigned as vice chancellor and party leader after the video was released by two German news organizations. He acknowledged that the video was “catastrophic” but denied breaking the law.

Kurz, a conservative who formed a coalition with the Freedom Party a year and a half ago, said the apparent video sting, in which Strache discusses contracts in return for financial or political favors, was the last straw in the relationship.

The downfall of the Austrian coalition came just a week before elections to the European Parliament and was a blow to one of the most successful of the anti-immigrant nationalist parties that have surged across the continent in recent years.

The Freedom Party is a major part of a new nationalist grouping that aims to score record gains in the European vote.

The head of the opposition Social Democrats told broadcaster ORF she would not oppose a snap election if a bill calling one were put to parliament.

video sting, austria
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen addresses reporters in Vienna, May 18, 2019. VOA

‘Difficult to swallow’

As Strache announced around midday that he was stepping down, a crowd of thousands with left-wing placards and banners gathered on the square outside Kurz’s office, chanting, “Snap elections now!” Police estimated their number at 5,000.

Kurz had repeatedly distanced himself from his far-right coalition partners over lesser scandals in the past, mostly involving party officials and anti-Semitism or racism — such as one in which the deputy mayor of Hitler’s hometown wrote a poem likening immigrants to rats.

“For all these successes in the past two years I had to be ready to withstand a lot and also put up with a lot, from the rat poem to the proximity to radical right-wing groups and the ‘isolated incidents’ that kept coming back,” Kurz said.

“There were many situations in which I found it very difficult to swallow all that.”

video sting, austria
People protest in front of the Chancellery in Vienna, Austria, May 18, 2019. VOA

‘Catastrophic’

The video showed Strache meeting the woman in 2017, shortly before the election that brought him into government. Strache, whose party has a cooperation agreement with Russia’s ruling United Russia party, described the sting as a “targeted political assassination” and said it never led to any money changing hands. He insisted the only crime that took place was illegally videotaping a private dinner party.

He said he would be replaced as party leader by Transport Minister Norbert Hofer, his deputy, who narrowly lost a 2016 presidential election and is more popular than Strache. In the footage, Strache discussed rules on party financing and how to work around them, although he also insisted on having to act legally.

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“It was dumb, it was irresponsible and it was a mistake,” Strache told a news conference, fighting back tears as he asked his wife and others to forgive him.”In the cold light of day, my remarks were catastrophic and exceedingly embarrassing,” he said.

He also apologized for flirting with the woman. “It was typical alcohol-fueled macho behavior in which, yes, I also wanted to impress the attractive female host and I behaved like a bragging teenager,” he said. (VOA)