Legal battle over Hitler’s birth place finally ends

The years-long legal battle over the birthplace of Adolf Hitler has finally come to a close, Austria’s Interior Ministry announced.

The country’s Supreme Court has sided with the government, leaving the former owner of the property with the compensation she was initially offered.

Hitler was born in a rented apartment in the town of Braunau am Inn, on the border with Germany, in 1889. After the Nazis came to power, it was bought by the party and used as a kind of fascist cult center. After the war, it was returned to the original owners and was alternatively a library, technical school, and care centre for the disabled.

It had stood derelict for five years when the Austrian parliament voted to requisition the property in 2016 in order to stop it becoming a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. Owner Gerlinde Pommer was awarded €810,000 in compensation.

However, a court in the town of Ried found that Pommer was due more, awarding her 1.5 million euros. This decision was overturned by the higher Regional Court of Linz, and now, the top court in Vienna upheld the Linz ruling.

The Austrian government is currently considering plans to either demolish the site or render it completely unrecognisable from its former appearance. An architectural competition is to be held to determine the building’s exact future.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Peschorn said this would “prevent any renewed form of National Socialist activities.”

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