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What happened to Hitler’s property?

As a young man, Hitler was a struggling artist who had little money and spent time living in hostels. He fought in World War I then became active in the recently formed Nazi Party. Following the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, in which Hitler and his Nazi cohorts launched a failed coup against the Bavarian government, he was sent to prison for treason. While serving his time in 1924 (he ended up spending less than a year behind bars), Hitler penned the first volume of “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”), his political manifesto. Published in two volumes in the mid-1920s, the anti-Semitic treatise grew increasingly popular as its author rose to power. After Hitler became German chancellor in 1933, every newlywed couple in the nation received a free copy of “Mein Kampf” (municipalities had to purchase the book from its publisher). By 1945, sales of “Mein Kampf” topped 10 million copies and the royalties had made the dictator rich.

After the war, the Allies gave the “Mein Kampf” copyright to the Bavarian government, which banned any reprinting of the work in Germany. When the European copyright expired on December 31, 2015, “Mein Kampf” entered the public domain. Hitler’s assets also included a home in the Bavarian Alps, called the Berghof, and an apartment in Munich, both of which were transferred to the state of Bavaria following the war. The mountain retreat had been damaged by bombs and looted by soldiers at the end of the conflict. In 1952, what remained of the Berghof was blown up by the Bavarian government in order to prevent the site from becoming a tourist attraction. The Fuhrer’s former apartment building is still standing and now houses a police station.

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