Cary D. Lowe (*1948 in Braunau am Inn, Austria) is a Jewish attorney and mediator in San Diego whose father participated in the Nuremberg trials. He is the author of the book Becoming American: A Political Memoir. He wrote the following eMail to the president of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen about the House of Responsibility:

Dear President Van der Bellen,

I write to you out of concern over the future use of the birthplace of Adolf Hitler in Braunau am Inn. I understand that there are plans to turn it into a police station. As a lawyer, mediator, and educator, it seems to me that this is the worst possible use for a place of such symbolic significance.

I am a native of Braunau. During my childhood in the post-war years, I frequently passed the property known as the Hitlerhaus, and I was deeply aware of what a cloud of shame it cast over the community. Each time I return to Braunau and walk by there, I am reminded of that history and hope a way can be found to overcome it. Converting that place into a police station, or even into something more neutral in character, will only ensure the stigma remains. We were friends with the police chief and his family, and I am certain they would not have considered the current proposal to be an appropriate use.

Instead, the house should be put to a use which will be positive and transformational, for both Braunau and Austria as a whole. As a supporter of Austria’s Gedenkdienst program and the Austrian Service Abroad — a program the Republic of Austria should be very proud of — I support the idea of converting Hitler’s birthplace into a House of Responsibility, as conceptualized by Andreas Maislinger.

Turning this house into an international meeting place — a place of learning and of planning a better future for the world, with a focus on young people and the concept of responsibility — is a noble idea worthy of support. It would signify to the world that the Republic of Austria assumes responsibility for the past and is dedicated to a better future. I urge you to give this proposal every possible consideration.

I look forward to returning to Braunau to attend the opening of the House of Responsibility at this site. Please make that vision a reality.


Cary D. Lowe, Ph.D., AICP

Attorney and Mediator

San Diego, CA, USA