One Town’s Reputation Just Got Even Worse

You know how some places have strange laws ? Things like, “One may not offer alcohol to a raccoon after sundown”?* Well, it turns out that the Austrian town of Amstetten has a little PR problem with a law they passed 72 years ago and never rescinded — namely, the one that made Adolf Hitler and honorary citizen.

The Führer had visited Amstetten in 1939, and that’s when the town gave him the keys to the city (he probably had a train car full of them from municipalities all over Germany and Austria. Maybe he kept them with all the love letters.) But while most towns got that law off their books after the war (I’m just guessing about that), Amstetten somehow never got around to it. A member of the local Green Party stumbled across it recently, and is putting pressure on the Mayor to do this now.

I suspect that Amstetten doesn’t really want the publicity, nor the reputation of being the last town in Austria with Hitler as an honorary citizen (however, see below!) On the other hand, it might welcome the diversion from the other thing it’s been known for lately — as the town where Josef Fritzl kept his daughter imprisoned and impregnated in a locked soundproof basement for 24 years. If the town has the funds to tear down that house of horrors, it can certainly find the time to have that law taken off the books.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Tyrolean town of Kufstein wants to make it clear that, despite some online claims, there is no evidence that Hitler ever received honorary citizenship there.

Oh, and now Klagenfurt is looking into whatever happened to Hitler’s honorary citizenship there. Some papers are missing, it seems.

* (I made that one up, but it could very well be law somewhere.)

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