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Court orders Austrian state to pay €1.5 million for Hitler's house

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A stone outside the house in which Adolf Hitler was born, Braunau am Inn
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REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
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A court has ruled Austria should pay €1.5 million for the house where Adolf Hitler was born.

Three years ago authorities issued a compulsory purchase order for the three-storey building, situated near the Austria-Germany border.

They paid €310,000 and owner Gerlinde Pommer has been seeking full compensation ever since.

In a statement, the Regional Court of Ried im Innkreis said the new price assessment was based on the property's market value and on “the peculiarity that it is the birthplace of Adolf Hitler".

The Austrian state has 14 days to appeal the decision, the court said.

The dispute between Austrian authorities and the Pommer family goes back a long way.

Hitler was born in the house in Brunau am Inn on April 20, 1889. It was made the subject of a historic preservation order by Germany’s National Socialist regime in 1938 after being purchased by the Nazi government.

After being returned to the Pommer family in 1952, the house passed into Gerlinde Pommer’s hands 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 declined to allow work to be undertaken to improve accessibility.

After the family refused repeated government offers to buy it, the state issued a compulsory purchase order in 2016.

The move was intended to prevent the property from becoming a place of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis.