The birthplace of Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of Germany during World War II, is to be converted into a police station.

The building in which Hitler was born in 1889, in the town of Braunau in Austria, has become something of a site of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis who come to pay their respects to one of history’s most murderous despots. Hitler lived in the building for only a few weeks, until his family moved elsewhere in the town.

The building has been used for a number of purposes in the years since the end of the war, serving as the offices of a bank, a public library, and as an annex for a school. The Austrian government had tried for years to buy the building, but the owner refused to sell it. Finally, in 2017, the government passed a special law to enable it to expropriate the building (with compensation).

Twelve architectural firms submitted proposals on redesigning the building, with the firm of Marte Marte emerging as the winning candidate.

Work on the building is expected to be completed by 2023 and will cost €5 million.

There is little to commemorate the building as the birthplace of Hitler apart from a memorial stone outside bearing the words: ‘For Peace, Freedom, and Democracy; Never again Fascism; Millions of dead remind us.’ The stone for the memorial came from the Mauthausen concentration camp, near the city of Linz. The memorial will be moved to a museum in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

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