VIENNA (Reuters) – The Austrian town of Braunau, Adolf Hitler’s birthplace, has revoked the Nazi dictator’s honorary citizenship — even if he never actually was awarded one.
The town council voted unanimously late Thursday to strip Hitler of any honors he may have received and which did not expire automatically when he died by his own hand in a Berlin bunker in 1945.
“Although no archival evidence could be found for the city of Braunau am Inn’s awarding Adolf Hitler honorary citizenship, the awarding of honorary citizenship to Adolf Hitler is symbolically and as a precaution revoked and repealed,” the council said in a statement cited by the Austria Press Agency.
The community of Ranshofen, where Hitler was born, made him an honorary citizen in 1933. Ranshofen was incorporated into Braunau in 1939.
Braunau also revoked Hitler’s right of residence awarded in 1938, the year Nazi Germany annexed Austria. A debate still smolders over to what extent Austrians welcomed or resisted becoming part of the German empire.
Many towns in Austria made Hitler an honorary citizen when he was in power, and a media uproar is prompting many to now reverse course.
The town of Amstetten revoked his honorary citizenship in May, triggering a furor when two council members of the right-wing Freedom Party abstained, contending that the vote was unnecessary because the title ended with Hitler’s death.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Michael Roddy)