Austria’s constitutional court has ruled government seizure of Adolf Hitler’s birthplace in Braunau am Inn as lawful. The Austrian government were forced to seize the home in December because it was a meeting place for neo-Nazis.
Gerlinde Pommer-Angloher, the owner of the building, has had her legal challenge that the seizure was not constitutional overturned.
“The expropriation by law of the house of Adolf Hitler’s birth in Braunau was carried out in the public interest, proportionately and not without [financial] compensation, so it was not unconstitutional,” the court said in its ruling.
Government officials want to remodel the property’s image and offer it to Lebenshilfe, a charity which supports people with learning difficulties.
The building was previously used by the charity as a day centre and workshop for people with special needs. However, it was forced to move out several years ago when Mrs Pommer refused to allow the Government to put in wheelchair access.
The fate of the building is uncertain as arguments for renovation and demolition continue, but the government’s main focus is to reduce its appeal to neo-Nazis, who often visit the property just a few hundred meters from the German border.
By Eleanor Melhuish