The Austrian parliament passed a law on Wednesday according to which the house in which Adolf Hitler was born will become property of the state. The current owner of the house refused to sell it for a long time. On Thursday however, the interior minister of the country had a meeting with the mayor of the town of Braunau am Inn and the provincial governor. The town is near Austria’s border with Germany. Together they decided that Hitler ‘s house is going to be restored and its façade remodeled. After that, they will offer it to the Lebenshilfe charity. More precisely, to people with learning disabilities.
The house’s future was unclear. Until now
According to an official, there have been lengthy discussions in regards to what they should do with the house in which Adolf Hitler was born. More precisely, in a rented room, on April 20, 1889. There was a time when the decision was to destroy it. However, the provincial governor said that by destroying this house, they would destroy a part of history too. Now, it seems like they have reached another, more beneficial conclusion, especially for the people in need. The future use of the house will pay an homage to the people which died in the time of Hitler. Also, it will most probably become some kind of a symbol to remind everyone of the crimes he committed and that nobody should ever repeat them. It is about understanding the past and preparing for the future.
The neo-Nazi issue
Adolf Hitler ‘s house has long been some kind of Mecca for different neo-Nazi groups. The people living in Braunau am Inn were very afraid of them for a long time. Not anymore. With the country’s recent change in politics (the far-right Freedom Party almost won the presidency this month), the officials most probably decided to act on the matter and to not let Nazi enthusiasts go too far. So, they decided to remodel the house’s façade in order to stop the neo-Nazis groups from gathering there. Also, to give it to the Lebenshilfe charity to serve a noble purpose.
Austria’s controversial history
However, only recent Austria understood and acknowledged their historical role in the Nazi movement. Twenty years ago, Austrians were still sure that they have been the victims of the Nazis, as many other people. However, recently, something shifted in their convictions and they understood that the role Austria played was a little different. Let’s just remember how Austrians welcomed Hitler because he was promising them a better life during the Nazi regime. At the time, this promise was enough for such a poor country. Also, Austria has a very prominent anti-Semitism culture so when the Germans came, it was enough for them. Someone else had the same views as them. So, they saw the Nazis as their brothers, their kind and believed every word they said.
On Hitler ‘s birthday, April 20, every year, many people are organizing anti-fascist protests in front of the house. They are always gathering near a memorial stone dedicated to the victims of the Nazi regime.
Image source: here