Austrian lawmakers vote to seize home where Adolf Hitler was born


(JTA) — Austrian lawmakers voted to dispossess the home where Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was born.

The vote Wednesday night followed years of the German border town of Braunau and later the national government trying to purchase the home from its owners.

In October, the Austrian government initiated legal procedures to dispossess the home from its owners in an attempt to prevent the site from becoming a shrine to the neo-Nazi community. The Interior Ministry announced at the time that the home would be torn down.

The building at 15 Salzburger Vorstadt St. is listed as a historical landmark, however, though Hitler’s name does not appear on it.

Some town residents want the building to become a refugee center, while others want to create a museum dedicated to Austria’s liberation from the Nazis, the French news agency AFP reported. Razing the building would negate the country’s Nazi past, an expert commission has said.

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 since 2011 after the owner refused to authorize needed renovations.

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