Chinese tourists arrested for Hitler salute in Germany

Aug 08, 2017, 00:26
Chinese tourists arrested for Hitler salute in Germany

The salute related to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis is a symbol of hate speech in Germany.

Violation of the law is punishable by fine or up to three years incarceration.

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The tourists were arrested after posing for photos while making the Nazi gesture in front of the historic Reichstag building, a popular tourist destination, on Saturday.

They face a criminal investigation for using symbols associated with organisations that are considered to be in breach of Germany's constitution. They were released on bail of 500 euros, or almost $600, each.

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But the two tourists were hauled off to a Berlin police station after running afoul of decades-old laws forbidding the use of outlawed symbols and gestures - like those used by Hitler and his followers.

However the police spokeswoman said the tourists were free to leave the country and if a fine is imposed it would likely be covered by the bail money already paid. Germans themselves also fall afoul of the law, with two schoolchildren from Rostock also charged for making Nazi salutes this year. Last year, two British tourists were arrested in Berlin for pulling the same stunt, once again near the Reichstag, as was a Canadian tourist in 2011, according to the LA Times.

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For several years now, the government in Beijing has expressed growing concern over embarrassing behaviour by Chinese tourists travelling overseas, and has tried to persuade travellers to respect local laws and customs.