By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Austrian law authorities on Monday began investigating claims that photos now removed from the Internet had shown supporters of a soccer club in Adolf Hitler's home town raising their arms in the Nazi salute.
Austrian news media described several photos, including a particularly jarring one of several youthful "Braunau Bulldogs" - fans of the second-division Braunau soccer club - carrying a club banner and with arms raised high while visiting the former Mauthausen concentration camp.
Police in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria province, confirmed the that a legal investigation into the affair had begun but they declined to offer details.
Austrian news reports said fan club officials offered their apologies on line over the weekend and distanced the club from extremism of all kinds. On Monday, the club's Web site displayed a racist and sexist joke - and hundreds of e-mails critical of the photos - but no apology.
Hitler was born in Braunau in 1889. Though his family moved a few years later, the town on the border with Germany remains a shrine for rightist extremists.