VIENNA — The Austrian government is looking at options that would allow it to take possession of the house where Adolf Hitler spent his early childhood as it seeks to end a dispute with the owner over its use, officials said last week.
The move is the latest in efforts by the government to ensure that the house is not turned to a use that makes it even more of a shrine for Hitler’s admirers. Municipal officials in Braunau, where the house stands, already complain that it draws neo-Nazi visitors to the town near the German border.
Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck said his ministry expects opinions by the end of the month on taking the property for public use if the owner, who authorities refuse to identify, turns down a government offer to buy it.
The Interior Ministry has rented the house for years to prevent its misuse, subletting it to various charitable organizations. The building has stood empty since a workshop for the mentally disabled moved out more than three years ago.
Officials say the woman vetoed plans to move in a new charity and a school late last year because she was opposed to required renovations.