The Austrian government announced plans to tear down the birth-home of former German dictator Adolf Hitler Monday, citing a potential for the building to become a shrine for Neo-Nazi groups and after years of wrangling with the building’s owner, AFP reports.
Austria had seized the home in July after previously allowing the landlord, a retired woman, to rent it for more than $5,300 a month to a group helping disabled people, USA Today reported. But the government’s relationship with the woman crumbled and the country used its eminent domain laws to take it over.
"The Hitler house will be torn down. The foundations can remain but a new building will be erected. It will be used by either a charity or the local authorities," Wolfgang Sobotka told Austrian newspaper Die Presse via AFP.
Born on April 20, 1889, a date that is one of celebration for Neo-Nazi groups, Hitler would go on to take over Germany in the 1930s and become one of the most feared dictators and fascists in the 20th century. He was responsible for the death of millions and the start of World War II before being killed in 1945.
The building in question is located in the town of Braunau am Inn, about 77 miles east of Munich. Hitler and his family lived there for only three years, but USA Today reported it has for decades drawn many right-wing extremists who want to honor Hitler.
But, even before Austria’s seizure of the property earlier this year, it’s been vacant for the last five years and the government appointed a 12-member committee to figure out its future.
Other former Nazi sites have been torn down recently. In 2011, Germany destroyed the Deutschlandhalle, the sports stadium erected one year before Berlin hosted the infamous 1936 Summer Olympic Games which exposed Hitler and his expanded power to the world, according to The Telegraph.