Wednesday, 23. July 2014
21. 09. 12. - 12:00
The Mayor of Adolf Hitler's home says he doesn't want the building where the dictator was born to be turned into a memorial because the Fuhrer "only lived there for three years anyway".
Mayor Hannes Waidbacher from the conservative People's party (OVP) said that instead he was keen to see the property that was previously used by a charity for disabled people turned into flats.
The mayor added that there was already a memorial stone outside the building and said he felt that the local community had already done enough to remember the past, and there was therefore no need to feel pressurised to turn the property into something similar. He added: "There are already quite enough memorials in the region."
The property is currently owned by local pensioner who is playing no role in the discussion about the property. The pensioner rents it to the Austrian Interior Ministry for a monthly payment of €4,700 and it is currently empty since the charity moved out more than a year ago.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sonja Jell said that the government wanted to prevent the risk that the house would become a pilgrimage site.
The previous mayor Gerhard Skiba from the social Democrats (SPO) had wanted to make a house of peace for social projects and exhibitions. In 1989 Skiba arranged for a memorial to be placed directly in front of the house on public ground. The stone for the memorial came from a quarry on the grounds of the former Mauthausen Concentration Camp, near Linz, Austria.
The inscription reads: "For Peace, Freedom and Democracy. Never Again Fascism. Millions of Dead Are Our Reminder."
The official name of the memorial is the "Memorial Stone Against War and Fascism" and it appears as the "Mahnstein" ("Remembrance Stone") on street maps of Braunau.
A local historian Andreas Maislinger also put forward plans in the year 2000 for a "house of remembrance" which would have acted as a memorial and a warning to future generations who could learn from the mistakes of the past. But the project was never realised.
Waidbacher however while ruling out another memorial said he is open to ideas - but prefers at the moment the idea of making the property into flats.
He added that while Hitler had only spent the first three years of his life in the city it had stigmatise the whole region.
He said: "What he experienced here was certainly not the most influential phase of his life. Therefore we in the town of Braunau are not prepared to take the responsibility for the atrocities of the Second World War."
He said that many people in the town agreed with him and were behind him. He added: "As an example I was born 21 years after the war ended – and that applies to a lot of people now living here in Braunau."
At the time of Hitler's birth, the building was a local pub where Hitler's parents rented rooms so that his dad could carry out his job as a customs official at the nearby Austrian German border.
The Hitlers left the building when Adolf was three years old and his father was transferred to Passau. After World War II, the building was rented by the Austrian Republic in 1952. Until 1965 it was the home of the public library and later a bank.
From 1970 to 1976 several classes from the technical high school were held in the house, until the school was rebuilt. The house then for many years accommodated a branch of the disabled Persons charity Lebenshilfe, and operated as a day centre and workshops for people with learning difficulties.
Lebenshilfe however moved out last year which again re-awakened debate about the future use of the building.
Austrian Wine Grower Sets New Record For Maturing Grapes
An award-winning Austrian winegrower is believed to have set a new record after leaving harvested grapes for an incredible nine months before fermenting them to create an ultra-sweet white and red wine.
Austrian Castle Owner Shocked By Airplane Wheel In Duck Pond
An Austrian castle owner got a shock after discovering this massive aircraft wheel had landed in his duck pond.
Glock Receives Austrian Award At Birthday Party
Austrian gun maker Gaston Glock has celebrated his 85th birthday with a huge ceremony in which the charitable work of himself and his wife Kathrin was honoured with a top Austrian award, and confirmation that this year two streets and a business park are to be named after him.
Sausage Surprise As Giant Wurst Is Pinched
Austrian police are hunting crooks who broke open a market stall and stole a 1.5 metre sausage worth over 2,000 EUR in the picture postcard village of St Michael in the region of Lungau.
Multi Coloured UFOs In Formation Over Austria
Austrian officials say they are baffled to explain a UFO sighting in which dozens of people reported seeing between 50 and 100 objects flying in formation.
Priests Furious After Porn Films Shot In Local Parish Church
A furious Austrian Catholic priest has complained to police after discovering a local woman had apparently been using his church as a studio to make porn films.
Two metre snake sends woman motorist fleeing
An Austrian motorist got a shock after noticing something hanging down from under her car – and realising it was a huge two metre snake that had ended up curled around the engine.
What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (10 July - 16 July)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 10 July and 16 July...
Beekeeping is booming in Vienna
People living in Vienna have got a new hobby - beekeeping.
Queen of Englands favourite horses used as lawnmowers in Vienna
Horses from the famous Spanish Riding School are being used to help keep the grass down in city parks in Vienna.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Vintage Luxury Car Prepared For Prince Philip Rusts In Romanian Car Park|
|Society Girl Gave Adopted Kid Back A Day Later After Sleepless Night|
|Sausage Surprise As Giant Wurst Is Pinched|
|Michael Schumacher Family In Talks With Micro Chip Docs|
|Glock Receives Austrian Award At Birthday Party|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.