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This is Hitler's old house ... and the Austrian government wants it

The Nazi leader spent his early childhood in the building.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT is looking at options that would allow it to take possession of the house where Adolf Hitler spent his early childhood.

The move is the latest in efforts by the government to ensure that the house is not turned to a use that makes it even more of a shrine for Hitler’s admirers. Municipal officials in Braunau, where the house stands, already complain that it draws neo-Nazi visitors to the town on the border with Germany.

Reacting to reports in local media, Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck said his ministry expects expert opinions by the end of the month on expropriation — taking the property for public use — if the owner turns down a government offer to buy it. Authorities refuse to identify the owner.

The Interior Ministry has rented the house for years to prevent its misuse, subletting it to various charitable organizations. The building has stood empty since a workshop for the mentally disabled moved out more than three years ago.

Austria Hitler's House A memorial reading 'For peace, freedom and democracy. Never again fascism. Millions have died' outside the house. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Local officials say the owner vetoed plans to move in a new charity and a school late last year because she was opposed to renovations that would be required.

“We’ve tried very hard to find a solution,” local councillor Harry Buchmayer told the  Kurier newspaper, adding: “She does not seem ready to cooperate.”

Grundboeck described expropriation as the “last option,” saying the government hoped the owner would agree to sell. She reportedly has turned down past offers.

Among prospective buyers over the past few years was a Russian parliamentarian who threatened to raze it — a plan doomed to fail as the Renaissance-era building is under historical protection.

Column: Did you know Hitler had an Irish sister-in-law?

Read: Ming is on a ‘bad list’ with a Nazi supporter … and he’s not impressed

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