Jul 10, 2011

Hitler's birth town revokes dictator's honorary citizenship



Hitler's birth town revokes dictator's honorary citizenship

Braunau town council's decision to remove Hitler from list of honorary citizens largely due to increasing media pressure, follows similar moves in other Austrian communities.

By DPA Tags: Hitler Nazis anti-Semitism

Adolf Hitler's Austrian birth town of Braunau confirmed Friday that it had removed the German dictator from its list of honorary citizens, in a symbolic step that came as a reaction to increasing media pressure.

The town council's decision on Thursday evening followed recent similar moves in several other Austrian communities.

Although Hitler had never been stripped of his citizenship, his honorary status expired with his death in 1945, Green party councilman Manfred Hackl told the German Press Agency DPA from Braunau. "We revoked the citizenship preventively, to solve this issue once and for all," he said.

In May, a successful vote to strip Hitler of this honor in Amstetten ended in a scandal when two far-right Freedom Party councilmen abstained, arguing that such a step was unnecessary because the dictator is no longer alive.

The events in Amstetten had led journalists to search for additional towns where Hitler might still be an honorary citizen, Hackl said. "The media created some pressure," he said.
Hitler, who was born in 1889 in Braunau, was named an honorary citizen in a number of Austrian towns during the Natzi era.

Waidhofen an der Ybbs and Klagenfurt recently followed Amstetten's example and in Braunau, the Freedom Party joined the consensus.

"In this manner, the town council of Braunau set a clear, unambiguous example and assumed historical and political responsibility," Mayor Johannes Waidbacher said in a statement.


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