A stone outside the house in which Adolf Hitler was born in the northern Austrian city of Braunau am Inn, with the inscription 'For peace, freedom and democracy, never again fascism, millions of dead are a warning'. (Reuters)
A Russian MP is planning to raise £1.8m to buy the house in which Adolf Hitler was born and then destroy it.
Frantz Klintsevich, a member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, said he wishes to raze to the ground the property in Braunau-am-Inn where the Nazi leader was born in 1889, thus thwarting the town's mayor's plan to turn it into luxury apartments.
"I would buy this property in the blink of an eye if I had that kind of money myself, but I do not. If I were to receive financial help, I would buy the house and destroy it demonstratively," he told Russian newspaper Izvestia.
Klintsevich hasn't collected the money yet but his initiative received the support of members of the Russian Communist party.
"Everything that is connected to fascism should be wiped off the face of the earth. No one should even know that place ever existed," Communist party MP Vadim Solovyov told Izvestia.
Hitler spent his first two weeks of life in the Gasthaus zum Pommer building, before moving to another part of the Austrian town near the German border.
He and his family left the town on the banks of River Inn to settle in the German city of Passau when the future dictator was aged 3.
The building has become a pilgrimage destination for hundreds of neo-Nazi fanatics, whose presence Braunau-am-Inn mayor Hannes Waidbacher would do happily without.
The house has been rented by Austria's interior ministry since 1972 but has lain empty since last year, having last been occupied by a workshop for the mentally and physically handicapped.
The mayor would like to make flats out of the building to erase any legacy of Nazism from his town, and opposes projects by the Green Party and historians who would like to see the building turned in a Holocaust museum or an educational House of Responsibility.
"Braunau has done much to process its history over the years. It is not necessary to build a Holocaust museum in the house as some have suggested," Waidbacher said.
"Braunau as a town is already stigmatised enough. Hitler spent only three years of his life here, and they were certainly not the most formative years of his life."
A Third Reich stamp commemorating Hitler's place of birth (WikiCommons)
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