Europe

Adolf Hitler's Austrian hometown revokes honour title

  • 8 July 2011
  • From the section Europe
Adolf Hitler. Photo: 1936
Image caption The debate has unsettled Austria, which is still grappling with the legacy of its Nazi past

Adolf Hitler's hometown in Austria has revoked the Nazi leader's honorary citizenship - even if he never may have been given it.

The council in Braunau am Inn decided to strip Hitler of any honour he may have received and which did not expire automatically after his death in 1945.

Hitler was actually born in Ranshofen in 1889, and the village made him an honorary citizen in 1933.

Ranshofen later became part of Braunau, and is now seen as Hitler's birthplace.

'Unnecessary' move

On Thursday, the council said in a statement that "no archival evidence could be found for the town of Braunau am Inn's awarding Adolf Hitler honorary citizenship", according to the Austria Press Agency.

But the statement added: "The awarding of honorary citizenship to Adolf Hitler is symbolically and as a precaution revoked and repealed."

Local historians are still arguing whether the honorary title was transferable from Ranshofen to Braunau.

In May, another Austrian town, Amstetten, revoked Hitler's honorary title.

Several other towns across the country have been checking their archives this week to see if the Nazi leader is still an honorary citizen of their communities.

Some politicians argue that the move is unnecessary, because the title expired with Hitler's death in 1945.

The debate has unsettled Austria, which is still grappling with the legacy of its Nazi past, correspondents say.

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