Monday, April 11, 2016

Austria: Hitler's house to be seized to avoid the building being used by Nazi sympathizers

Politico reports:

Austria said Saturday it plans to seize the house Adolf Hitler’ was born in from its private owner to end a legal dispute and to prevent it from becoming a gathering point for Nazi sympathizers.

“We are currently examining the creation of a law, which would force a change of ownership and pass the property to the Republic of Austria,” Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundböck told AFP.

Hitler was born in the house located in the town of Braunau am Inn in April 1889. The building has been empty since 2011 when a dispute broke out between the Austrian government and the house’s owner Gerlinde Pommer.

The plan to seize the house would involve a compensation to the Pommer family, who has owned the house for more than a century.  In the early 1970s, the government signed a lease with Gerlinde Pommer and turned the house into a center for people with disabilities. The deal ended five years ago when Pommer unexpectedly refused to grant permission for much-needed renovation works.

“We have come to the conclusion over the past few years that expropriation is the only way to avoid the building being used for the purposes of Nazi sympathizers”, the interior ministry spokesman said.

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