Verdict after expropriation: 1.5 million euros for hitler house

The state of Austria must pay the expropriated owner more, the regional court has ruled – almost five times as much.

The 1.5 million box Photo: dpa

The Republic of Austria is to pay around 1.5 million euros to the former owner of Hitler’s birthplace, according to a ruling by the Ried im Innkreis regional court. This was reported by the plaintiff’s lawyer on Wednesday. A second expert opinion had estimated the value of the site in Braunau am Inn significantly higher than the first.

Previously, the state had paid the expropriated owner 310,000 euros for the two-story residential building, including garages and numerous parking spaces. "She is relieved about the now adequate compensation," lawyer Gerhard Lebitsch said of his 68-year-old client. However, he expects that the case is not closed, but will go through all instances.

According to its president Wolfgang Peschorn, the Austrian State Financial Procurator’s Office now intends to review the ruling. The question is whether the new amount of compensation is appropriate. After that, it will be decided whether the ruling will be appealed.

With the expropriation, the state wanted to prevent the birthplace of the later dictator from becoming a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) had spent his first months of life in an apartment in the house.

For decades, the main user of the building was Lebenshilfe with a workshop for the disabled. In a dispute over necessary renovations, the organization moved out. Since 2011, the building in the town of 16,000 inhabitants directly on the border with Germany has been empty. In January 2017, the Alpine Republic became the new owner of the property through expropriation.

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