Russian MP: 'Let me knock down Hitler's home'

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The Independent Online

A Russian MP has waded into a heated political dispute over the future of Adolf Hitler's birthplace by offering to buy up and demolish the Austrian town house in which the Nazi leader was born.

Frantz Klintsevich, a member of the ruling United Russia Party, said in an interview with Izvestia, a Moscow paper, that he planned to raise €2m (£1.6m) to buy and destroy the former public house, Gasthaus zum Pommer, 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.

He admitted he had so far failed to get financial backing from Russia's oligarchs although some members of the Communist Party had given verbal support. Vadim Solovyov, a Communist member of the Duma, told Izvestia: "Everything connected with fascism should be wiped off the face of the earth. No one should know that place existed."

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

Braunau's mayor provoked a row with anti-Nazi groups with a plan 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".

Austria's interior ministry has rented the house from its owner, Gerlinde Pommer since 1972.