VIENNA (Reuters) - The tombstone marking the grave of Adolf Hitler's parents was removed from an Austrian cemetery this week to deter neo-Nazi commemorations of the German dictator.
The owner of the grave in Leonding - an unidentified woman that Austrian media said appeared to be a distant relative of Hitler's father, Alois - asked to have the stone removed, the town's mayor, Walter Brunner, said on Friday.
"The site was not constantly being visited but things happened now and then, the last time late last autumn," he said, referring to "various actions by die-hards".
An Austrian newspaper said someone had decorated the grave site at that time with Nazi symbols. A similar incident happened on the 120th anniversary of Hitler's birth in 2009.
The Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten said German neo-Nazis had held vigils at the grave of customs official Alois Hitler, who died in 1903, and his third wife, Klara, Adolf Hitler's mother, who died four years later.
Representatives of the Upper Austrian town of 27,500 discussed the matter with church and security officials and concluded the grave marker should go if the owner agreed, Brunner said.
"The pastor told me she also didn't want the grave to be used or abused for this," he said, adding he did not know or want to know where the tombstone now was.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)