The Upper Austrian town of Braunau/Inn is struggling with its image as the birthplace of Adolf Hitler. A memorial stone, which warns of the deadly consequences of fascism, is now to be removed as Hitler’s birthplace is being converted and rebuilt.
For years, the Republic of Austria had been preoccupied with the dispute over the future of the house where Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn. In 2016, the owner of the house was expropriated and several lawsuits were filed in which the amount of compensation was disputed. In the end, the Republic paid 812,000 euros to the owner. A new appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court. In November 2019 it became known that the house in the street Salzburger Vorstadt was to become a police station.
Now the Austrian Ministry of the Interior presented a first draft of the converted building: With two gables, the building returns to its original form. The aim is to “neutralize the place”. This apparently goes so far that even the memorial stone in front of the house is to be removed. This stone comes from the Mauthausen concentration camp and bears the inscription: “For Peace, Freedom and Democracy – No More Fascism – Millions Dead Warn Of It”.
There has been massive criticism in recent days for the planned removal. “Displacement instead of confrontation” says the Mauthausen Committee Austria (MKÖ). There will be resistance, the Upper Austrian Network Against Racism announced. It was probably intended to make people forget that one of the greatest mass murderers was born in Braunau am Inn. Harald Grünn, regional chairman of the Concentration Camp Association/VdA Upper Austria, speaks of a “mockery of all victims of fascism”. The Communist Youth of Upper Austria demands that all efforts to remove the memorial stone must be stopped immediately.