*Alanis Morissette voice* Isn’t it ironic?
Hitler’s childhood home in Braunau am Inn, Austria will be made into a police station.
Austria is marketing this as a rebuke of Nazi politics, but it’s a little dubious considering how right-wing Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is.
“Interior Minister Wolfgang Peschorn said it would be an ‘unmistakable signal’ that the property did not commemorate Nazism.”
Nothing like rebuking Nazism by occupying a symbol of Nazi history with the enforcers of state violence!
There are some other details from the story that are just weird:
“It was once a day-care centre for disabled people, but this ended when owner Gerlinde Pommer objected to plans to make it more wheelchair-friendly and then refused all government offers to buy it or carry out renovations.”
… Why would someone who owns a center for the disabled object to a wheelchair ramp? Property value?
“A plan to turn it into a centre for refugees in 2014 also came to nothing.
“The government took possession of the house in 2016 under a compulsory purchase order, for a price of 810,000 euros ($897,000; £694,000).
“There has been widespread debate and disagreement in Austria over the fate of the building.
“Some have called for it to be torn down, while others argued it should be used for charity work or as a house of reconciliation.”
My thought: why not just tear it down? I’m not in favor of destroying historical monuments, but it seems like that’s what they really want to do. Even if it’s Hitler’s childhood home, couldn’t that at least be turned into a small Holocaust museum? Or something like it?
“In his statement on Tuesday, Mr Peschorn said the house’s ‘future use by the police should send an unmistakable signal that this building will never again evoke the memory of National Socialism’.”
It takes a lot of hubris from a right-wing European government to put their police in Hitler’s birthplace and claim it signals the building will never “evoke the memory of National Socialism”.