Nazi Salute in Germany Lands Chinese Tourists a Fine and Arrest

Two Chinese tourists were arrested for making Nazi salutes in front of the Reichstag building on Sunday.

Germany has strict laws on hate speeches and symbols linked to Adolf Hitler, a notorious figure in the Second World War, and his Nazi Party.

The visitors were seen taking pictures of each other with their mobile phones outside the Reichstag building, which houses the German parliament. The maximum penalty is three years in prison.

The salute is also banned in several other European countries, The Washington Post reported.

When Beijing announced that it planned to publicly shame unruly tourists, Chinese citizens were encouraged to take photos or video of any bad behaviour they spotted and pass it on to authorities. Hitler used the blaze as an excuse to crack down on freedoms in the country.

"A probe on suspicion of using the symbols of anti-constitutional organisations was opened against the two Chinese men, aged 36 and 49". According to the AFP, the spokesman said the two tourists were free to leave Germany while the investigation was carried out, and that should a fine be levied, it would likely be covered by their bail money.

The two Chinese tourists gesturing Hitler salutes in Berlin have left Germany without further criminal punishment, the Chinese Embassy said Monday, urging tourists to respect history and learn basic laws of their travel destinations.

In 2011, a Canadian tourist was arrested after he was photographed giving the offensive salute, also outside the Reichstag.

  • Joey Payne