Braunau am Inn

Coordinates: 48°15′30″N 13°2′6″E / 48.25833°N 13.03500°E / 48.25833; 13.03500
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Braunau am Inn
Braunau town centre
Braunau town centre
Flag of Braunau am Inn
Coat of arms of Braunau am Inn
Braunau am Inn is located in Upper Austria
Braunau am Inn
Braunau am Inn
Location within Austria
Braunau am Inn is located in Austria
Braunau am Inn
Braunau am Inn
Braunau am Inn (Austria)
Coordinates: 48°15′30″N 13°2′6″E / 48.25833°N 13.03500°E / 48.25833; 13.03500
Country Austria
State Upper Austria
DistrictBraunau am Inn
 • MayorJohannes Waidbacher (ÖVP)
 • Total24.84 km2 (9.59 sq mi)
352 m (1,155 ft)
 • Total17,095
 • Density690/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
5280, 5282A
Area code07722
Vehicle registrationBR

Braunau am Inn (German pronunciation: [ˈbʁaʊ̯naʊ̯ am ˈɪn] ; German for "Braunau on the Inn") is a town in Upper Austria on the border with Germany. It is known for being the birthplace of Adolf Hitler.


The town is on the lower river Inn below its confluence with the Salzach, where it forms the border with the German state of Bavaria, halfway on the road between the state capital Linz and the Bavarian capital Munich, about 60 km (37 mi) north of Salzburg. Braunau is connected by bridges over the Inn with its Bavarian counterpart Simbach am Inn. A traditional port of entry, all border controls have been abolished since the implementation of the Schengen Agreement by Austria in 1997.

The town gave its name to the administrative district (Bezirk). The population of Braunau am Inn was 16,182 in 2011.

Populated places[edit]

The municipality of Braunau am Inn consists of the following cadastral communities: Braunau am Inn, Osternberg, and Ranshofen; while further subdivided into populated places (with population in brackets as of 1 January 2022).


While the abbey of Ranshofen was already mentioned in the course of the deposition of Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria, in 788, Braunau itself first appeared as Prounaw in an 1120 deed. The Innviertel region then was part of the Duchy of Bavaria.

St Stephen's Church

Braunau received town rights in 1260, one of the first in present-day Austria. It became a fortress town and important trading route junction, dealing with the salt trade and with ship traffic on the Inn. As a major Bavarian settlement, the town played an outstanding role in the Bavarian uprising against the Austrian occupation during the War of the Spanish Succession, when it hosted the Braunau Parliament, a provisional Bavarian Parliament in 1705 headed by Georg Sebastian Plinganser (born 16 April 1680 in Pfarrkirchen; died 7 May 1738 in Augsburg).

The Late Gothic Braunau parish church dedicated to Saint Stephen was built from 1439 to 1466, replacing an older chapel. Its 87 m (285 ft) high spire is one of the tallest in Austria and the town's landmark. The remains of the fortress today house a museum and parts of the former town walls can still be seen. Another museum is housed in refurbished 18th-century public baths.

Within 40 years, Braunau changed hands three times: In 1779, it became an Austrian town under the terms of the Treaty of Teschen, which settled the War of the Bavarian Succession. During War of the Third Coalition, the Nuremberg bookseller Johann Philipp Palm was arrested at the Braunau fortress by French troops and executed for high treason by personal order of Napoleon in 1806. Under the terms of the 1809 Treaty of Schönbrunn, Braunau became Bavarian again in 1809. In 1816, during reorganisation of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars at the Congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Bavaria ceded the town to the Austrian Empire and was compensated by the gain of Aschaffenburg. Braunau has been Austrian ever since.

Braunau remained a garrison town of the Austro-Hungarian Army and became the site of a large prisoner of war camp in World War I. After the Nazi Anschluss to Nazi Germany in 1938, Ranshofen, which at that time had one of Austria's largest aluminium plants, was incorporated into Braunau. Since 1992, the annual Braunau Contemporary History Days initiated by Andreas Maislinger concentrate on accounting for the past; the town's administration awards the Egon Ranshofen-Wertheimer Award, named after native diplomat Egon Ranshofen-Wertheimer, to honour committed Austrians abroad. Several Stolpersteine were installed in Braunau by the artist Gunter Demnig.

Adolf Hitler's birthplace[edit]

Hitler's birthplace with memorial stone for victims of fascism

Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn where his father Alois Hitler served as a customs official. He and his family left Braunau and moved to Passau in 1892.[3] Hitler was born in an apartment building recorded at Salzburger Vorstadt 15 in an 1890 register, which housed a craft brewery and several rental flats, one of them occupied by Alois Hitler, his third wife Klara, their son Adolf, and his elder half-siblings Alois Jr. and Angela.

In April 1934, the Passau Donauzeitung published a commemorative article, marking the room where Hitler was born.[4] In April 1938, Braunau renamed Salzburger Vorstadt to Adolf-Hitler-Straße, and its town plaza to Adolf-Hitler-Platz,[5] but the building itself remained a Gasthaus, with a sign advertising beer on tap.[6]

That same year, Hitler's personal secretary Martin Bormann purchased the house on behalf of the Nazi Party,[7] it then became a cult centre containing an art gallery and a public library.

At the end of World War II in 1945, American soldiers occupied the house and prevented fanatical Nazi supporters from blowing it up.[8] It was then used to temporarily house a documentary exhibition on Nazi concentration camps. In 1952, it was repurchased by its former owners, the Pommer family,[7] and thereafter was used as a city library, a technical college and lastly a day-care centre for disabled people (Lebenhilfe).

Since WWII, the house had been controversial for both the local village and the Austrian government.[7] In 1972 the Austrian Ministry of the Interior took over the main lease on the building to further discourage any notion of making it a pilgrimage site, and thereafter paid its owner approximately 4,800 euros in monthly rental.[9]

In the course of the process of coming to terms with the history of Austria in the time of National Socialism, the Braunau mayor Gerhard Skiba in April 1989 — two weeks before Hitler's centenary — took the initiative and placed a memorial stone in front of the building. The stone, commemorating the victims of World War II, is made of granite from the quarry at the Mauthausen concentration camp. It states, Für Frieden, Freiheit und Demokratie. Nie wieder Faschismus. Millionen Tote mahnen ("For peace, freedom and democracy; never again fascism: millions of dead remind us"). The memorial also serves as a disincentive to "Hitler tourism".

In 2011, the Lebenhilfe moved out and the Ministry requested permission to renovate the property. But Gerlinde Pommer, the then current owner, refused and she also refused the offer by the Ministry to purchase the house.[7] The house has remained vacant since then.

In 2016 the Ministry pressed for the expropriation of the house by the government. This required a special law in the Austrian parliament.[7] At the same time, an Austrian governmental commission was considering a number of options for the future of the house, turning it into apartments again, using it for a center or a museum that would confront Austria’s Nazi past, and even its demolition, replacing the original building with an entirely new structure.[10][11][12]

On 18 October 2016, Austrian interior minister Wolfgang Sobotka said the building would instead be changed to the extent that it "will not be recognizable."[13] The contract was awarded to the architectural firm Marte Marte Architekten.[14] The house was to be restored to its 1790 configuration with a double gable roof, the removal of all of the 1938 Nazi additions, and a whitewash of the front. [14]

In June 2020 it was announced that after the restoration the house would serve as a police station.[15] Restoring the house was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and costs considerably increased.[16] In 2023 it was announced that in addition to the police station, the house would be used as a training center.[16] The restoration is expected to be completed in 2025, with the police station and district police headquarters able to move in in 2026.[16]

In 2011, the Braunau town council voted to revoke any honorary citizenship that may have been conferred on Hitler in 1933. The action was described as "precautionary" as no archival evidence could be found to confirm that he had received it in the first place.[17][18][19][20]


Braunau am Inn bridge and customs checkpoint c. 1910
Historical population


Braunau has a full range of industries including electronics, metal (AMAG), woodworking, and glass. The town also has the largest aluminium works in Austria.


The BHAK Braunau is the oldest educational establishment in the Innviertel.

The HTL Braunau has been awarded "Most Innovative School in Upper Austria" 7 times, in the years 2012-2014 and 2017-2020.


After two successful seasons, the local football team, SV Braunau, reached the Austrian 1st Division before suddenly going bankrupt in 2000. The team was re-founded as FC Braunau.

Notable residents[edit]


Braunau am Inn has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb) or, following the 0 °C isotherm, a humid continental climate (Dfb) with warm summers and quite cold winters.

Climate data for Aspach, Upper Austria
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.2
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 1.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.9
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −5.1
Record low °C (°F) −33.2
Average rainfall mm (inches) 57.5
Average snowfall cm (inches) 9.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9.2 8.1 10.0 10.2 8.7 11.7 10.9 8.8 8.4 7.6 9.6 10.6 113.8
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 14.1 9.6 4.9 1.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 4.0 9.6 3.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 55.3 86.0 126.0 158.3 221.5 204.8 234.1 226.9 164.8 119.1 60.0 44.9 1,701.7
Source: [21]


  1. ^ "Dauersiedlungsraum der Gemeinden Politischen Bezirke und Bundesländer - Gebietsstand 1.1.2018". Statistics Austria. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Einwohnerzahl 1.1.2018 nach Gemeinden mit Status, Gebietsstand 1.1.2018". Statistics Austria. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  3. ^ Anna Rosmus: Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 20f
  4. ^ Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 97f
  5. ^ Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 151f
  6. ^ Gunther, John (1940). Inside Europe. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 20. Archived from the original on 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  7. ^ a b c d e Daley, Jason (15 December 2016). "Austria Will Seize the Home Where Hitler Was Born". Smithsonian Magazine.
  8. ^ Fink, Hans (1972). "Das Kriegsende 1945 am Inn". Heimat am Inn (in German). Simbach am Inn, Austria: Rudolf Vierlinger. p. 10.
  9. ^ Eddy, M (11 February 2015). "In Adolf Hitler's Hometown, Trying to Overcome a Legacy of Evil". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  10. ^ Eddy, Melissa (18 October 2016). "Austria Seeks to Seize, and Possibly Tear Down, Hitler's House". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-01-15. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  11. ^ "Austria to demolish house where Adolf Hitler was born". Archived from the original on 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  12. ^ "Austria to Demolish House Where Adolf Hitler Was Born". 18 October 2016. Archived from the original on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Austria: Hitler's house will be remodeled, not torn down". News & Record. Associated Press. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ a b Novotny, Maik (3 April 2023). "Neue Diskussionen um Hitlers Geburtshaus: Bitte gehen Sie weiter!". Der Standard (in German). Austria. Archived from the original on 30 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Hitler's birthplace to be turned into police station | DW | 19.11.2019". Deutsche Welle.
  16. ^ a b c Gindl, Barbara (23 May 2023). "Hitler-Geburtshaus wird Ort für Menschenrechtsschulungen der Polizei". Der Standard (in German). Austria. Archived from the original on 24 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Adolf Hitler's Austrian hometown revokes honour title". BBC News. 8 July 2011. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Hitler's birthplace strips Fuehrer of honorary citizenship". Toronto Star. 8 July 2011. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Austria to tear down Adolf Hitler's place of birth in Braunau am Inn". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Adolf Hitler's childhood home to be torn down, Austria announces". 17 October 2016. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Klimadaten von Österreich, 1971–2000". Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • Books by Anna Rosmus contain multiple photos of Braunau in 1945: Valhalla Finale, 350 pp, Dorfmeister, Tittling, 2009, (hardcover) ISBN 3-9810084-7-2. and Ragnarök, 464 pp, Dorfmeister, Tittling, 2010, (hardcover) ISBN 3-9810084-8-0