Dissatisfaction with plans for Hitler's birthplace
A heated debate has raged for years about what should happen to the house in Braunau am Inn where Adolf Hitler was born and which became a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. Austria's Ministry of the Interior has now presented plans for it to be converted into a police station. This has met with a barrage of criticism from the country's media.
Botched, meaningless PR
Die Presse criticises the plans, and in particular those of the winner, adding that the 3D visualisations are simply unbearable:
“The slick perfection of this oasis of well-being highlights the politically-ordained suppression of the memory of Austria's complicity in the Nazi terror in the most embarrassing manner. ... Automatically one starts to feel the symbolism of this botched PR stunt. Why does the house look like something from a prefab catalogue? Does it have to be as white and pure as the driven snow? Are most of the artificially generated passers-by here really blonde? Significant changes were made to the roof, but what is it supposed to represent? Devil's horns? Raised eyebrows? It actually looks more like the valley roofs typical of this area. ... The packaging is meaningless, and the content mute. So rather than solving the problem with this building, the project has only consolidated it.”
Maximum openness and honesty needed
Der Standard approves of the plans for a police station but doesn't like the way the architectural competition for the building contract was conducted:
“It is said that the architects had to sign a confidentiality clause forbidding them from passing on information about the procedure. Furthermore, the press conference was convened on a Friday before a long weekend. That's rather short notice, don't you agree? And finally, the projects are open to the public, as required for public architectural competitions, but only for four days and for three and a half hours per day. The jury protocol which could make the decision comprehensible is not available. Is this what the transparency vis-à-vis the press touted by Interior Minister Karl Nehammer looks like? Particularly when it comes to Austria's Nazi heritage, there can be only one course - maximum openness and honesty.”