Austrian architects to turn Hitler's hometown into a police station

Austrian architects to turn Hitler’s hometown into a police station

written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Austria has revealed plans to turn Adolf Hitler’s hometown into a police station, after years of debate Legal dispute On the controversial site.

The three-storey building in Braunau am Inn, near the German border, is undergoing a major renovation that the authorities hope will prevent it from becoming a site for pilgrims sympathetic to the Nazis.

Hitler was born in an apartment in the building on April 20, 1889, where his father worked as a customs official in the town. The family left Braunau am Inn, then part of Austria-Hungary, when Hitler was three years old.

Plans to convert the site to a police station were announced for the first time last November, when the Austrian Ministry of the Interior launched a European Union design competition to renew it. At that time, officials He told CNN In a statement that the move could help deter “national socialist activity”.

The building where Adolf Hitler was born, was photographed in 2015. credit: Joe Clamart / AFP / Getty Images

The winning proposal, from the Austrian company Marte.Marte Architects was unveil At a press conference on Tuesday. Digital models show an extended corrugated roof, replacing the existing yellow facade with a white facade, in keeping with adjacent buildings.

According to a government press release, Interior Minister Karl Niehamer told a press conference on Tuesday that the city had become “the opposite of everything (Hitler).”

“You can learn about a country’s democratic culture by dealing with its history, and it took Austria a long time to confront its history.” Quoting his saying During the announcement. “Today we open a new chapter in dealing with our historical responsibility.”

The ongoing debate

The fate of the building has long been a contentious issue in the city, as many want to destroy the painful reminder of Hitler’s short time there.

In 2012, the mayor of Braunau told MN, Johannes Weidbacher, the Austrian newspaper Standard Monastery The city was already “stigmatized”. Weidbacker said that the three years the Nazi dictator spent there “were certainly not the most formative” in his life, adding: “We, Browno, are not ready to take responsibility for … WWII (a break outside).”
Austrian Interior Minister Karl Niehamer presents the plan chosen for the architectural redesign of the house where Hitler was born

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Niehamer presents the plan chosen for the architectural redesign of the house where Hitler was born credit: Joe Clamart / Agence France-Presse / Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

Others pushed for the transformation of the site into a community center, called “House of responsibility“Where young people from all over the world can meet and learn about the past.

For decades, the controversial building belonged to Gerland Bomer, whose family had owned the property before Hitler’s birth. The Austrian Ministry of the Interior began renting the site from it in 1972, by renting it to various charities. But the building has remained empty since the last occupant, a disability center, was evacuated in 2011.

Four years ago, the government Advertise That the structure would be demolished. Then she proceeded to obtain it by force from Boomer, with the Ministry of Interior calling in “special legal permission” to confiscate the property.

This was followed by legal controversy over the takeover and compensation during which the building demolition plans were postponed.

The exterior of the building is shown in digital models by Austrian architectural firm Marte.Marte, who won a site renewal competition.

The exterior of the building is shown in digital models by Austrian architectural firm Marte.Marte, who won a site renewal competition. credit: Marty mart

After securing the site, the Austrian government remained concerned that it might attract neo-Nazis and other sympathizers of Hitler’s ideology. The then Austrian Interior Minister, Wolfgang Bichorn, announced the decision to turn him into a police station last year, that “the future use of the police by the police will be an unambiguous sign that this building will never serve on the anniversary of National Socialism.”

Nowadays, the only physical reminder of the building’s past is a memorial stone that immortalizes the victims of fascism during the Second World Wart. It was installed in 1989Shortly before Hitler’s 100th birthday, the stone reads: “For peace, freedom and democracy. Fascism has not come back again. On the memory of millions of dead.”

The building renovations are expected to be completed by early 2023, and will cost around 5 million euros ($ 5.6 million).

Other buildings associated with Hitler’s rule were reused in the post-war era. The Alps dictated the Nazi dictator, Eagle’s Nest, is now Restaurant and tourist destinationWhile its Polish-fortified headquarters site, Wolf’s den, Now contains a hotel.

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