Plans to renovate the house where Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was born are set to cost the taxpayer over EUR 11 million.
The Ministry of the Interior in Austria confirmed on Thursday, 21st April, that the house in the town of Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria, will take longer to renovate and that this will cost significantly more money.
Instead of the previously estimated EUR 5 million (GBP 4.16 million; USD 5.4 million), it will now cost over EUR 11 million (GBP 9.16 million; USD 11.9 million), according to the Ministry of the Interior in the Austrian capital Vienna, to convert the house where Hitler was born into a police station.
The higher estimate is reportedly due to an increase in construction prices.
It is hoped that converting the house into a police station will prevent future neo-Nazi pilgrimages to the building.
Construction on the house where the Nazi dictator spent the first few months of his life is only planned to begin next year, in 2023.
Work on the building had been previously been planned to begin this year, but pressure in the construction sector has pushed this date back, with building work expected to now finish in 2025, still according to the Ministry of the Interior
Ownership of the house is now in the hands of the Austrian Republic after a lengthy expropriation battle with its previous owner, who in the end had to be paid EUR 800,000 (GBP 666,600; USD 867,600), which resulted in the state taking control of the property in 2017.
The former owner of the property, Gelinda Pommer, went to court over the compensation initially paid to her, which was 310,000 EUR (258,800 GBP) and which she deemed was too low. But her main complaint was that her human rights were violated because the government changed the law specifically to get the house in Braunau am Inn in the northern state of Upper Austria from her.
The Austrian National Council passed a law of expropriation in December 2016, causing Pommer to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, before the Austrian government eventually paid up EUR 800,000 to take ownership of the building, which had become something of a shrine to Hitler, visited by neo-Nazis from far and wide.
The current Austrian Chancellor, Karl Nehammer, 49, said in 2020, when he was still the Minister of the Interior: “A new chapter will be opened for the future from the birth house of a dictator and mass murderer.”
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was an Austrian-born politician who became the dictator of Germany from 1933 until he killed himself in 1945 as Allied forces advanced on Berlin.
He caused World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1st September 1939, leading to the United Kingdom and France to declare war on Germany on 3rd September.
Under his government, an extensive network of concentration camps was built, leading to the genocide of the majority of Europe’s Jews, with an estimated 6 million people, roughly two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population, murdered.
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