The infamous property in the town of Braunau am Inn on the Austrian-German border is to be turned into a permanent care home for the disabled after a lengthy dispute between the current owner, the Austrian government and anti Nazi protestors.
The large house was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, an elderly woman who used to run the property as a guest house, but later rented it to the local authorities for social use. Recently the Austrian government had to legally seize the property after Pommer continuously refused to sell it or allow much needed renovations.
The house is visited by hundreds of Neo Nazi tourists every year, causing anti-fascist groups and Austrian Jews to campaign for its demolition to prevent the area becoming a shrine to Hitler. Despite this, the Austrian Interior Minister, Wolfgang Sobotka, local mayor, Johannes Waidbacher and provincial governor Josef Puhringer decided to use the property as a care home for the disabled, a group that was persecuted by the Nazi regime.
Puhringer told the Independent: “Social use [of the house], as has been the case for many years already, is a life-affirming statement, a homage to the victims of National Socialism and a clear symbol against the crimes committed by Hitler,” later adding: “Instead of demolishing history, we want to create an antithesis to the Nazi regime.”