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Hitler's Birthplace In Braunau, Austria, Now Empty, Sparks Debate Over Proper Future (VIDEO)

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What do you do with the birthplace of Hitler? That's the challenge faced by the current owner of his boyhood home in Braunau, Austria.

Though Hitler only lived in the home for three years after his birth in 1889, reports Reuters, his connection with the property, now owned by a retired local woman, persists.

According to the Austrian Independent, the building was rented by the Austrian Republic in 1952 after WWII, before briefly housing a public library and then a bank. A school made use of the space through the 1970s, then made way for a charity for the disabled which vacated the building a year ago.

After the charity left, the building has remained vacant, leading to vigorous debate between those seeking to convert the space into a museum or memorial, and others who believe that all traces of Hitler should be removed.

Braunau's mayor, Hannes Waidbacher, remains opposed to the prospect of a memorial. "What [Hitler] experienced here was certainly not the most influential phase of his life," he explained to the Independent. "Therefore we in the town of Braunau are not prepared to take the responsibility for the atrocities of the Second World War."

A government spokesperson told the Irish Times that officials don't want the site turning into a place for neo-Nazi pilgrimages and other "mischief."

According to the Daily Mail, a plan approved by both the mayor and a local building consortium would instead convert Hitler's boyhood home into high-end apartments, tentatively priced at around $650,000.

Regardless of what happens to the building itself, though, a memorial plaque placed nearby in 1989 will forever record its history. The inscription reads: "For Peace, Freedom and Democracy. Never Again Fascism. Millions of Dead Are Our Reminder."

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