Austrian Government Can't Find a Subletter For Hitler's House
The Austrian real estate market seems to be doing pretty well right now, but there is still one house that absolutely no one wants to rent. The Austrian government just can't find someone to sublet Hitler's house — or at least, the house where he was born — no matter how hard they try. Something tells me it doesn't have anything to do with the housing market.
It's the same old story: In 1889, a baby was brought into the world in a house in Braunau; he grew up, failed out of art school, massacred millions of people, and today his name is synonymous with indefensible, irredeemable evil. And as a result, now no one wants to sublet the house where he took his first breaths.
The 8,600-square-foot home in question was a lodging house and inn at the time of Hitler's birth, and he and his parents lived there until Hitler was three. Since 1972, the Austrian government has been renting it from the owner, and has found several subletters over the years, including a technical institute and an aid organization. Out of fear that the house could become a haven for neo-Nazis, they do not allow the space to be used as a museum.
Since the most recent tenant left in 2011, however, the house has stood empty, and the Austrian government says that the rent has been getting to be something of burden. The Austrian government, after all, is not made of money.
Now, I understand why this is a problem. After all, Austria is doing a good thing here by maintaining control over the Hitler house and making sure that it doesn't get used by neo-Nazis or other misguided persons as a way of glorifying one of the most heinous individuals history has ever produced. That's an important and noble responsibility they've taken on, and it sucks that it's costing them so much money.
On the other hand, though, I find myself not at all unhappy that no one wants to occupy Hitler's house. I mean, there are some people in this world who do a lot of messed up things. They make sexist comments, or defend people who look at child porn. They lie and cheat and steal and rape and pillage and do any number of other terrible, terrible things that are enough to make you lose your faith in humanity.
And then you find out that no one wants to sublet Hitler's house. And it just sort of makes you feel a little bit better about your fellow man.
But then you remember that the Austrian government is having to spend $6,000 a month in rent just to make sure that nobody turns the house into a shrine to a genocidal maniac, and the world is awful again.