Austrian Soldiers Shown Making Hitler Salutes on YouTube

Austria's defense minister said Tuesday he had launched an investigation into an Internet video that reportedly showed Austrian soldiers making Hitler salutes.

Norbert Darabos said an investigation was under way and confirmed that the incident took place in an Austrian army barracks.

The video — published on the video-sharing Web site YouTube — shows several young, uniformed soldiers engaged in offensive behavior, the newspaper Kleine Zeitung reported.

It said that during the course of the video two men raise their arms in the straight-armed Nazi salute. One of the two is shown screaming "Heil Hitler," according to the newspaper.

The roughly two-minute video was likely taken with a cell phone and showed the soldiers in a drunken state, the newspaper said.

Attempts to view the video on YouTube Tuesday were met with a notice saying it had been taken down by the person who originally posted it.

Darabos said those involved would have to "bear the consequences" and account for their actions.

"These types of actions allow for zero tolerance," Darabos said.

Hans-Georg Wallner, public information officer at the provincial military command in Salzburg, said two suspects have been interrogated in connection with the video and that a third was currently undergoing questioning. According to the defense ministry, the public prosecutor's office has also been informed.

Wallner said the alleged incident occurred at the Schwarzenberg Caserne, Austria's largest barracks, located on the outskirts of Salzburg. He declined to provide details about the men's ages or origins but said the video was likely filmed between June and August. Not all parts of the video may have been taken at the same time, he said.

"We are deeply shocked," Wallner said.

Austrian law bans the glorification of Adolf Hitler and attempts to diminish, deny or justify the Holocaust. If convicted, the men could face between one and 10 years behind bars, the Austria Press Agency reported.