Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s (1889-1945) birthplace in Austria will be turned into a police station in an attempt to prevent it from becoming a neo-Nazi pilgrimage site. American e-commerce firm Amazon banned the sale of Hitler’s political manifesto “My Struggle,” which is often called a bible for far-right extremists, in March this year.
According to AFP, Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said on Tuesday (local time) that Austrian architecture firm Marte was chosen among 12 competitors to be in charge of the refurbishment project. About 5 million euros will be put into the project over the next three years for its completion in early 2023. After Austria revealed its plan to remodel the building in November last year, it received designs from architecture firms within the European Union (EU).
The house, where Hitler was born, is located in the northern Austrian town of Braunau am Inn on the German border. On the exterior of the yellow three-story building built in 17th century is a sign that reads, “The place where Hitler was born.” There is also an engraved rock in front of the building that reads, “Fascism never again.” The rock will be moved to a museum in Vienna.
Hitler was born in the house on April 20, 1889 but his family moved out only a few weeks later. He visited the place in 1938 after annexing Austria even though he did not have a memory about the house.
Far-right extremists in Europe have visited the birthplace of Hitler on April 20 of every year as if they are making a pilgrimage. Austria has blocked far-right extremists from entering the house by renting it to charitable organizations since 1970s. There was a controversy surrounding the use of the building after the Austrian government purchased the building at 810,000 euros in 2016. There were conflicting opinions about the use of the building, with some saying the building should be torn down as a token of apology for Hitler and the Nazi’s wrongdoings and others saying the building should be left intact as an expression of sincere apology or should be used for public interests, such as charity or domestic violence prevention center. Finally, at the end of last year, the Austrian government decided to convert it into a police station
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