And finally… owner of Hitler’s house forced to sell

The Austrian government has won a court case allowing it to finally impose a compulsory purchase order on the owner of Adolf Hitler’s birthplace in order to take ownership of the controversial address.

In 1989, shortly before the centenary of Hitler’s birth, the city of Braunau am Inn placed a memorial in front of the property that said: “For peace, liberty and democracy. Never again fascism. Millions of dead warn.” (Image: Anton-kurt)

The conclusion of a what has been a saga of various legal battles paves the way for a refurbishment of the empty building where Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 and which continues to attract unsavoury elements of the right wing politics and neo-Nazis.

Since the Second World War, the property in the small town of Braunau am Inn has been a library, a bank, a school and a workshop for disabled people.

Since 2011 it has been left empty.

The Austrian state won its case against the former owner of the house with the country’s highest court rejecting a €700,000 (£654,000) claim by Gerlinde Pommer-Angloher.

She had been forced to sell the listed 17th-century, three-storey building to the government in 2016 for €812,000 but had argued that it was worth €1.5 million.

“After the binding court decision in the compensation case, the legally necessary re-use of the Hitler birthplace can now be initiated in order to prevent any form of re-activation and National Socialist activities,” said Wolfgang Peschorn, the Austrian interior minister.

A competition has now been launched to redesign the building.