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Hitler's House in Austria to Be Used for Police Human Rights Training

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Photo: Hitler's House in Austria.
Photo: Hitler's House in Austria.

The house in Austria that Adolf Hitler was born in is to be used for human rights training for police officers, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.

Prior to this, there was a debate for several decades about the possible use of the house.

The government bought the building in Braunau am Inn near the German border under a compulsory purchase order in 2016.

Construction work to convert the house is expected to start in the autumn.

However, the plans are contradictory. Some Austrians want to tear the house down, and a committee of experts had decided to demolish it to stop it becoming a focal point for neo-Nazis. However, critics say that would be a denial of Austria's past.

Under the latest scheme, building works are expected to be completed by 2025 with the police force moving in by the following year.

Dictator Adolf Hitler was born in a rented room on the top floor in 1889. During his Nazi rule, the house was transformed into a shrine to Hitler, who only lived in the house for a few months, as the town drew in a wave of tourists.

But as the Nazis began to lose control in 1944, it was boarded up.

For decades, the Austrian government rented the house from its former owner, Gerlinde Pommer, in an attempt to stop far-right tourism.

It was used by a charity as a day care centre for people with special needs until Mrs Pommer blocked future renovations.

In 2016, the government passed a law allowing to seize the house from her in return for over EUR 800,000 (GBP 694,000) in compensation.

Three years later the Interior Ministry announced plans to turn the 17th Century house into a police station.

Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, and for decades presented itself as one of the first victims of the regime.

But many at the time welcomed the move, known as the Anschluss or connection, and Austria has begun to speak about its own complicity in Nazi crimes.

The Dictator (Führer) of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler, was born in Braunau, Austria, in a family of small landowners. Since 1921, he was the undisputed leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, also known as the Nazi Party. In 1923, he was arrested and imprisoned for attempting to overthrow the German government. This trial brought him fame and followers. He used the subsequent time of imprisonment to dictate his own political ideas in his book "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle"). Hitler's ideological goals included the territorial expansion of many countries, the consolidation of a "racially pure state", and the elimination of European Jews and other likely enemies of Germany.

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