Austria Cabinet Ordered to Pay $1,683M to House Owner Where Hitler Was Born

Austria Cabinet Ordered to Pay $1,683M to House Owner Where Hitler Was Born

The Austrian government has been ordered to pay the former owner of the house where Adolf Hitler was born 1.5 million euros (£1.3million).

 

The government bought the house in Braunau am Inn, located on the border with Germany, using a compulsory purchase order in 2016.

They paid owner Gerlinde Pommer 310,000 euros (£272,400), which she contested and took the authorities to court.

The district court in nearby Ried im Innkreis ruled that the government ‘substantially short-changed’ Ms Pommer, and ordered it to pay her 1.5 million euro – the amount the property had been found to be worth after a valuation, Deutsche Welle reports.

It brings to end a decades-long fight over the building between the authorities and Ms Pommer.

The Nazi dictator was born in the building on April 20, 1889, almost 25 years before it was bought by Ms Pommer’s grandparents in 1913.

The Pommer family were then forced to sell the property to Hitler’s private secretary Martin Bormann in 1938.

Once World War II was over, Ms Pommer’s mother was handed back the property after occupation by U.S. troops.

 

In 1972, the Austrian government signed a lease with the Pommer family and turned the premises into a centre for people with disabilities.

This arrangement came to an abrupt end in 2011, when Ms Pommer, who had inherited the property from her mother in 1977, refused to grant permission for much-needed renovation works.

It was then left empty, with Ms Pommer continuing to net 4,800 euros (£4,220) in rent every month.

She continued to reject purchase offers made by the increasingly exasperated interior ministry, but was then finally forced to sell in July 2016 as a result of the compulsory purchase order.

Since then, the government has said the building will be torn down to prevent it becoming a Nazi shrine, however this has been citicized and accused of amounting to erasing history.

No sign explicitly marks the three-storey house as the birthplace of one of the most evil men in human history.

Instead, in 1989, the town council placed a granite slab retrieved from the pits of the Mauthausen Nazi concentration camp on the sidewalk outside.

‘For peace, freedom and democracy. Never again fascism; millions of dead remind us,’ an inscription reads.

The fate of the building is yet to be determined.

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