The Holocaust (1934-1945)

Hitler's birthplace loathes link to him but not the building

Adolf Hitler was born in the house behind her and the building is a natural draw for tourists. But when asked about her hometown's most important landmark, Ivonne Bekking gestured down the road toward a baroque church steeple.

It's a well-taught defense mechanism in Braunau am Inn, where Klara Hitler gave birth to Adolf in 1889 and locals have spent decades debating the fate of Hitler's homestead.

"I know that at school we were taught always to point in this direction, to the church tower," said Bekking as she stood in front of Hitler's birthplace, an apartment within an imposing three-story yellow building that dates to the 16th century. Hitler's family spent only...