Germany has strict laws on hate speech and symbols linked to Hitler and the Nazis, who ruled between 1933 and 1945.
The Reichstag is a powerful symbol in Germany. It was destroyed by fire in 1933 by an arsonist thought to have been paid by the Nazis, who then blamed the blaze on the Communists and used it as an excuse to severely restrict civil liberties.
Two tourists were arrested after performing ‘Heil Hitler’ salutes while posing outside Germany’s main parliament building in Berlin.
The Chinese men, aged 36 and 49, made the Nazi gestures outside the historic Reichstag building and recorded their behaviour on their mobile phones.
German police arrested both men who now face charges of “using symbols of illegal organisations”.
They were released after posting bail of 500 euros each, according to a police statement.
News of the arrests soon began to circulate through China’s online community, where a large majority of people said the men deserved their punishments.
Earlier this year, an American school came under investigation for images showing pupils performing a Nazi salute during a class photo.
The children, aged 17 and 18, were posing for their ‘senior year’ class picture, when Americans finish their high school education.
In an email sent to parents, the principal said:
This letter is to make you aware of a situation that occurred on our campus today while our senior class was taking a large group panoramic picture.
Several of our students made the poor choice of displaying inappropriate gestures during this time.
This is extremely disappointing as this is not an accurate representation of our student body.