Evil dad Josef Fritzl was born Illegitimate and his Father's name was Franz
A CHILLING image from the childhood of dungeon dad Josef Fritzl shows Adolf Hitler receiving "Sieg Heil" salutes from his adoring followers in Amstetten.
It is believed that Fritzl – then nearing his third birthday – turned out with the rest of his home town to greet the Nazi leader on March 14, 1938.
A short stroll from the cellar where Fritzl raped his daughter and imprisoned their incest offspring lies the site of a Nazi concentration camp where 500 women were caged during World War II.
Bahnbau I, which held male slave labourers, and Bahnbau II – for women – were branches of the infamous Mauthausen camp 25 miles away, where the Nazis murdered their prisoners 120 at a time in a gas chamber.
Up to 320,000 died.
Sadistic Fritzl threatened to gas his own captive children in their dank cellar prison, although it is not yet known if he actually rigged up a system to release toxic fumes.
For 24 years the evil dad kept daughter Elisabeth prisoner beneath his home.
She bore seven children as he repeatedly raped her over the years.
Three were 'chosen' to live with Fritzl and his wife Rosemarie, one died as a baby and the other three stayed underground with Elisabeth before finally being rescued last weekend.
As the full horror of Fritzl's crimes continued to emerge, a second woman came forward yesterday to tell how he raped her in 1967.
Fritzl was jailed for another rape committed just weeks later, and there has been outrage over the fact that he was later allowed to adopt three of Elisabeth's kids.
Born in Amstetten on April 9 1935, little is known about Fritzl?s background and early life, although one town hall official told The Sun: "Fritzl was born out of wedlock on 9 April 1935, he's illegitimate !"
According to relatives, his mother's name was Rosa, and his father was called Franz Fritzl.
In a tree-filled park in Amstetten?s historic centre, a memorial with the carved image of a Nazi storm trooper bears the name of Franz Fritzl as one of those who fell in Hitler's war.
Young Josef Fritzl may have joined the Hitler Youth, although officials say records were burned at the end of the war.
But it IS known that Amstetten was a hotbed of Nazi activism.
Hitler?s visit in 1938 was greeted with wild excitement by locals, and afterwards every house in the town flew the swastika.
A local history book says of the visit: "The crowd were screaming and yelling and waving."
Austrian-born Hitler sent a thank-you letter to the town saying it "filled him with great pleasure" after Amstetten made him an honorary citizen.
As the war progressed and Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Amstetten became a rail head for troops leaving to fight on the eastern front.
One local historian told The Sun: "The RAF bombed the rail lines – that's why slave labourers were brought in to help rebuild the lines."
Amstetten was finally liberated by US troops in May 1945.
The Russians, fresh from seeing the Nazis devastate their country, soon followed, indulging in an orgy of rape and pillage.
Fritzl was ten when the tanks rolled in. It is likely that even as a child he was aware of the death camps near his home.
And after the war he would have been acutely aware of his nation?s shame. A 1951 school picture of Fritzl shows a surly 16-year-old youth glowering at the camera.
The Russians stayed until 1955 and Fritzl appears to have been deeply affected by Cold War paranoia.
In 1978 he told local planners he needed to build a bunker to protect his family in case Austria was subjected to a nuclear attack.
Because of the political climate at the time, nobody gave it a second thought. Five years later Fritzl applied to extend the basement and put in running water.
What he actually created was the dungeon – complete with elaborate electrical door systems and sound-proofing to stifle Elisabeth's screams.
Austrian academic and social commentator Martin Reiter, 45, says the Fritzl case highlights the dark underbelly of Austrian society.
Mr Reiter, who grew up 30 miles from Amstetten, said his countrymen became insular and adopted an 'ask no questions' policy after the war. He added: "Austria needs to face up to her demons. When I lived near Amstetten you could sense the paranoia in the air. It was like living in a Hitchcock film."
"No one wanted to know what their neighbours had done in the past, no one wanted to talk about the dark history.
Others insist Fritzl is a one-off monster who could have been produced anywhere in the world.
Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer said: "We're not going to allow Austria to be held hostage by one criminal individual. We will defend Austria's image."