BRAUNAU AM INN, Austria, Oct. 17 (UPI) — The three-story house where Adolf Hitler was born 117 years ago will be demolished because it had become a neo-Nazi shrine, Austria’s interior minister said Monday.
“The Hitler house will be torn down. The foundations can remain but a new building will be erected. It will be used by either a charity or the local authorities,” Wolfgang Sobotka told the Austrian newspaper Die Presse.
He followed the recommendation of an expert commission and the parliament will vote Tuesday.
In July, the government approved legislation to seize the house in Braunau am Inn, a town on the border with Germany.
The house has been empty since 2011 when the government became involved in a dispute with owner and local resident Gerlinde Pommer, whose family has owned it for more than a century.
Hitler was born in a rented room on the top floor on April 20, 1889.
In the early 1970s, the Austrian government turned the premises into a center for people with disabilities. But five years ago, Pommer refused to make necessary repairs. She also rejected an offer from the interior ministry to purchase the property.
The government pays about $5,300 a month in rent for the building.
Braunau’s 17,000 residents are divided on what to do with the house. Some wanted it as a refugee center and others wanted it to be a museum dedicated to Austria’s liberation from Nazi rule.
Some cultural organizations say it should be under heritage protection because it is part of the city’s historic center.