Braunau am Inn

This small town next to the German border consists of just over 17,000 inhabitants. The city is not a natural tourist destination, nor is it known for any specific cuisine, crafts or anything else. It would probably be an unknown city if it were not because it was at Gasthof (Josef) Pommer on Salzburger Vorstadt 15 that Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, son of Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl. When Hitler occupied and incorporated Austria into Germany in 1938, the house was transformed into a memorial for Hitler. Hitler visited the house only once in connection with a tour of Austria after the occupation.

Current status: Preserved with monument (2008).

Address: Salzburger Vorstadt 15, 5280 Braunau am Inn.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The memorial outside the house is dedicated to Hitler’s victims and was taken from the quarry in the Mauthausen concentration camp. It was erected on the centenary of Hitler’s birth and bears the text, Für Frieden Freiheit und Demokratie Nie wieder Faschismus Millionen Tote mahnen. Freely translated, this means approximately ”For peace, freedom and democracy and never again fascism, in memory of the millions of dead”. According to the tourist office in Braunau, one in three tourists after Hitler’s birth house were asked. In 2008, a day business was run in the house. The future of the house has long been the subject of discussion, on the one hand you do not want it to attract the wrong kinds of people, on the other hand, on the other hand, you do not want to just tear it down because it is a sensitive subject.

Follow up in books: Kershaw, Ian: Hitler – A Biography (2008).