Should Adolf Hitler’s Family Home Be Torn Down or Turned Into a Museum?

The historic site has been attracting neo-Nazis.

Braunuj Am Inn (Adolf Hitler's birthplace). Courtesy of Getty Images.

In a recent decision by the Austrian government’s cabinet, Adolf Hitler’s birthplace, which for over a century remained under the care of one family, may soon be taken over by the state.

The three-story building is located in the heart of Braunau am Inn, a town in northern Austria near the border with Germany. The apartment building, which is registered as Salzburger Vorstadt 15reportedly hosted Hitler and his family for the first few years of his life. Disturbingly, the building has served as an international attraction for neo-Nazis. As a result, the Ministry of the Interior would like to destroy the building.

However, Reinhold Mitterlehner, vice-chancellor of Austria, wants the edifice to receive heritage protections, adding that the structure can be re-purposed into a museum for “educational purposes,” according to Agence France-Press. In 2014, there was talk of converting it to a museum.

Hitler's birthplace in Braunau am Inn. Photo courtesy Michael Kranewitter, Wikimedia Commons.

Hitler’s birthplace in Braunau am Inn. Photo courtesy Michael Kranewitter, Wikimedia Commons.

Wolfgang Sobotka, the state’s interior minister, would sooner have the site be demolished, stating that the site is “not worthy” of its cultural protection status. “The decision is necessary because the Republic would like to prevent this house from becoming a ‘cult site’ for neo-Nazis in any way, which it has been repeatedly in the past, when people gathered there to shout slogans,” Sobotka said in a statement.

Gerhard Baumgartner, the head of the Austrian Resistance Documentation Centre, agrees, according to AFP, saying that that the site “should be completely depoliticized” to discourage the neo-Nazi culture.

Reuters reports that a 12-person commission has been tasked with the decision.

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