A little Austrian village has been completely upended by plans to convert Hitler’s birth home into a police station.
The facility will host a police training program on human rights problems, according to the specific plans for using the structure, made public on Monday by Branau’s local government. However, there is disagreement among local residents and leaders about the redesign’s proposed timeline, less than zwei Monate out.
Hitler may have wanted local officials to relocate in the apartments, where he was born in 1889 and lived his earliest months of life, according to a video. Günter Schwaiger discloses a 1939 newsreport on Hitler’s command in a documentary he’s releasing on Tuesday.
„Who’s Afraid of Braunau?“ is a movie. The three-story home, which is situated on a corner close to Braunau’s town center, will have its premiere on a screen in front of it. In the town there are roughly 16,000 people. According to Schwaiger, the police station „always will be suspected” of operating „in line with the dictator’s wishes.”
Despite the Austrian government expropriating the home in 2017, purportedly in part to prevent the location from serving as a magnet for neo-Nazis, the edifice, which was built in the early to mid-19th century, has become a place of pilgrimage for Hitler sympathizers.
According to California lawyer Cary Lowe, whose parents were Holocaust survivors and who was born in Braunau, „to prevent those gatherings, the town placed a monument in front of the house, consisting of a block of granite from the Mauthausen concentration camp quarry, inscribed with a message in memory of the victims of fascism.“
He expressed concern that moving the anti-fascist monument as part of the police station proposal would minimize the awful events that occurred there and just obliterate the area’s history.
In a clear bow to opponents, it was announced in May that the long-planned police station would contain the human-rights-training-course. According to Oliver Rathkolb of the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna, such a program would „do justice to moral, political, and legal responsibility“, according to a statement made at the time by Austria’s Interior Ministry.
„We must confront our past and instill a perspective that is life-affirming in this historically troubled location.“
However, the plan has not been widely embraced by the public. A small majority of Individuals polled by the research firm Market Institut stated that they would prefer to see an Organization establishing itself that would only be concerned with National Socialism, memory, anti-fascism, or peace. Few people supported the intended use by law enforcement.
The realization of a „House of Responsibility” initiative, according to retired historian Andreas Maislinger, who is a local, is the only workable answer. He has suggested that the location only be utilized for Commemoration and addressing current conflicts. It would change the way the town is viewed as a whole.
Braunau has only ever been recognized for one thing: Hitler. Recently, as the debate gained steam, the controversial monument of Karl Lueger, the mayor of Vienna during World War II, was proposed by the Austrian art collective Total Refusal to be dropped over Hitler’s birthplace by helicopter.
On the panel that agreed on the new use was Hannah Lessing, secretary general of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism. She wants to see the area transformed into a refugee assistance center.
However, she told JTA, „I agreed to the police project, since they can also learn from history. „Why not?” Hitler spent precisely two months there. Why then is it so unique? In Organizations and Museums, we already deal with Hitler auf vielen levels.
The cost of the remodeling has been estimated by Austria’s interior ministry to be at 20 million euros. It should be finished by 2025, and the district police headquarters and police station should move in by 2026.