The Austrian government has said it wants to seize the house where Adolf Hitlerwas born to prevent it falling into neo-Nazi hands, after years of trying to buy the property from its private owner.
The decision came after years of failed attempts to buy the property. The government said the owner would be compensated for losing the house.
Karl-Heinz Grundböck, an interior ministry spokesman, said: “Given the unique nature of the building, its historic significance and the public interest, we’ve decided to begin discussions seeking to lay the legal groundwork for the seizure.”
Hitler was born in the house in Braunau am Inn on 20 April 1889. It was made the subject of a historic preservation order by the Nazi government in 1938 after it bought the house.
It was returned to the Pommer family, who had reportedly owned it since 1912, in 1952 and passed to Gerlinde Pommer in 1977.
The Austrian state has rented the property since 1972 and used it as a daycare centre for people with disabilities, but it has stood empty since 2011 after Pommer refused to allow work to be undertaken to improve accessibility.