Beneath a leaden sky the solemn, black-clad crowd moves slowly towards a modest grey headstone. At one end of the grave, a flame casts light on the black lettering that is engraved on the marble. At the other end, an elderly soldier bends down to place flowers before standing to salute.
From all over Austria, people are here to pay their respects to their fallen hero. But the solemnity of the occasion is cut with tension. Beyond the crowd of about 300, armed police are in attendance. They keep a respectful distance but the rasping bark of Alsatians hidden in vans provides an eerie soundtrack as the crowd congregates in mist and light rain.