We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Adolf Hitler's birthplace could be used to help integrate immigrants

Charity hopes to provide language and integration courses

Hitler's birthplace could be used to help integrate immigrants into Austrian life.

The Gasthof zum Pommer, a former pub in in Braunau am Inn, northern Austria, was last used by a workshop for the mentally disabled and is protected because if its Renaissance architecture.

Last year Frantz Klintsevich, Russian MP for the United Russia Party, said in an interview with a Moscow newspaper that he planned to raise €2m (£1.6m) to buy and destroy the former public house in the town of Braunau am Inn. "If I were to receive financial help, I'd buy the house and destroy it demonstratively," he said.

And now a charity, Volkschilfe, has made a bid to the Austrian Interior Ministry, which has rented the house from its owner, Gerlinde Pommer since 1972.

An integration office, language courses for migrants and other social agencies are under discussion.

According to the Kurier newspaper the charity’s head, Karl Osterberger, says that renting the house to an agency like his would send a “great signal.”

Hitler was born in the house in 1889, spending his first two weeks in it before his parents moved. It has since become an unwanted tourist attraction for the town.

The town's mayor provoked a row with anti-Nazi groups when he planned to turn the house into luxury flats in order to "de-stigmatise" his town. However, the Green Party wants to turn it into a Holocaust memorial, while historians want it to be an educational "House of Responsibility".

On Wednesday Germany marked the 80th anniversary of Hitler's rise to power in 1933.