The Austria government has announced that it has made a plan to eliminate a building in Braunau am Inn, a town on the border with Germany, where Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889. A new building will be erected either for charitable or official purposes. According to Interior minister Wolfgang Sobotka, the plan is to prevent it becoming a pilgrimage site for Neo-Nazis.
The demolition has yet to be approved by parliament, however, as the three-story building’s owner has refused to sell the building.
The government has rented the property from Gerlinde Pommer since 1972, but it has been unoccupied for the last five years since she has refused to undertake repairs, Die Press, the Austrian newspaper which first reported the decision, quoted as the government’s decision.
Though it has a long abandoned history, a number of cultural organisations are opposing this decision because it is an uncomfortable episode of history being swept away without trace.
“We have a functioning culture of memory, for example, at the Mauthausen concentration camp,” Sobotka told Die Press when he questioned if Austria was missing the opportunity to confront its Nazi past.