The Austrian Government has revealed plans to turn the house where Adolf Hitler was born into a police station, in the hope of “neutralising” the space.
The move follows decades of debate over what to do with the building in the northern Austrian town of Braunau am Inn where Hitler was born in April 1889 and spent the first months of his life.
“A new chapter will be opened for the future from the birth house of a dictator and mass murderer,” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said at a press conference.
“It is the most appropriate use [for the building]. Why? The police are the protector of fundamental rights and freedoms,” Nehammer said.
Austrian architecture firm Marte.Marte. beat out 11 other competitors with their simple, modern redesign for the building. The plans, however, do not tamper with the substance of the original building, but give it a fresh facade.
The government expects the refurbishment project will be completed by early 2023 and that the project will cost around €5 million ($5.6 million).
Making Hitler’s birthplace ‘neutral’
There is currently little to indicate that the yellow corner house in Braunau am Inn was the birthplace of the man who would rise to become the leader of Nazi Germany, trigger World War II and carry out the Holocaust.
There are no plaques, save for an engraved rock in front of the house that reads: “Fascism never again” but does not mention Hitler by name.
Interior Ministry official Hermann Feiner noted that the rock will be moved to a museum and that the design is meant make the building political neutral and deter Neo-Nazi visitors.