There are very few names in history that are able to inspire such horrific awe as that of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
His was a life instrumental in the devastation of the Second World War and the horror of the Holocaust which saw to the death of millions of people.
Despite the horrors that were inspired by Adolf Hitler in most circles, there do exist some ardent admirers of his legacy.
Adolf Hitler was born in Austria and on Monday, authorities said that the house where he was born is to be torn down to stop it from becoming a neo-Nazi shrine. Admirers of Hitler are known as neo-Nazi’s and they often engage in a cult-like admiration of the dictator.
The announcement came after years of bitter legal wrangling and Austria’s Interior Minister, Wolfgang Sobotka, told Austrian newspaper Die Presse;
“The Hitler house will be torn down. The foundations can remain but a new building will be erected. It will be used by either a charity or the local authorities.”
According to the Interior minister, the decision to tear down the house was based on recommendations by an expert committee tasked with deciding what to do with the controversial building in the quaint northern town of Braunau am Inn.
Since 2011, the huge yellow house has been empty following a dispute between the government and the former owner and local resident Gerlinde Pommer whose family had owned the large corner house where Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, for over a century.
The Austrian government had signed a lease for the house in the early 1970s and turned the premises into a center for people with disabilities. The mutual relationship, however, came to a sudden end when Pommer unexpectedly refused to grant permission for much-needed renovation works on the house five years ago.
Gerlinde Pommer had also rejected a purchase offer made by the interior ministry, so after much legal wrangling in July, the government approved legislation to seize the house from Pommer.
One interior ministry spokesman told AFP on Monday that the law amendment was still “under way”, which means that parliament is yet to approve the demolition.
The demolition and future of the building continues to spark heated debate among Braunau’s 17,000 residents. While some want it to become a refugee center, others want a museum dedicated to Austria’s liberation from Nazi rule.
Some cultural organizations were even completely against the demolition altogether, saying that the building is part of the historic city centre and therefore under heritage protection.