Redefining history: Hitler’s birthplace in Austria repurposed as human rights training centre

POLICE receive certificates in a ceremony

The building will be used as a police training centre. Photo credit: BMI - Bundesministerium für Inneres

ADOLF Hitler’s birthplace in Braunau am Inn, Austria, is undergoing an unexpected transformation according to an announcement made by the Austrian government on Tuesday, May 23. 

Instead of demolishing the house that holds significant historical weight, the Austrian government has decided on an alternative path, the house will be revamped into a human rights training centre for Austrian police officers.

Back in 2016, the government acquired the property through a compulsory purchase order, and long-awaited construction work is set to begin later this year. However, this unique decision has sparked animated discussions among the public.

Some argue that the house should be demolished to prevent it from becoming a potential magnet for neo-Nazi groups. On the other hand, proponents believe preserving the structure in a constructive way is essential in confronting Austria’s troubled past.

Anticipation builds as the house construction project is expected to conclude in 2025, transforming it into the new headquarters for local law enforcement. This shift marks a stark departure from its dark history as a shrine to Hitler during the Nazi regime.

With the Austrian government’s past efforts to deter far-right tourism by renting the property, the decision to repurpose it for promoting human rights is a bold step forward.

The legacy of items from the Nazi regime have been in the spotlight in recent years as some items have been auctioned and others have been destroyed.

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