A German police force has suspended 29 officers after they shared pictures of Adolf Hitler and doctored images of refugees in gas chambers, officials have confirmed.
The group of officers, which included men and women, are also accused of using far-right chat rooms where swastikas and other Nazi symbols were posted.
They are from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), to the west of Germany, and risk losing their jobs pending an investigation.
“This news has hit the police at its core. It is a disgrace for the NRW police,” said the state’s interior minister Herbert Reul on Wednesday.
The investigation concerns more than 100 pieces of “disgusting neo-Nazi, racist and anti-refugee vitriol”, he added.
It is illegal to display Nazi symbols in Germany, which could mean some of the 29 are charged with disseminating Nazi propaganda and hate speech.
Others within the group are accused of failing to report their colleagues.
It comes after German police and other security agencies faced accusations of failing to act to unearth potentially violent nationalists within their ranks.
German prosecutors said last month they were investigating a retired police officer suspected of sending threatening emails, signed with the name of a gang of neo-Nazi killers, to prominent figures from an immigrant background.
The emails, including some sent to legislators of Turkish descent, were signed “NSU 2.0”.
This a reference to the “National Socialist Underground” neo-Nazi gang, which killed 10 people, mainly immigrants, between 2000 and 2007.