Chinese Tourists Arrested and Fined for Nazi Salutes in Germany

Reichstag Building in Berlin, Germany. 36- and 49-year-old Chinese tourists were arrested on August 5, 2017 for performing Nazi hand salutes in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin. (Photo: Wetandi, viaPixabay, under CC0 1.0
Reichstag Building in Berlin, Germany. 36- and 49-year-old Chinese tourists were arrested on August 5, 2017 for performing Nazi hand salutes in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin. (Photo: Wetandi, viaPixabay, under CC0 1.0

Just recently, two Chinese tourists were arrested for performing Nazi salutes in front of the Reichstag in Berlin.

According to police reports, quoted by German media, the two Chinese tourists took photos of one another doing a Nazi salute right in front of the Reichstag in Berlin.

The 36- and 49-year-old tourists were caught during the act by police officers who were assigned to guard the historical sight.

After their arrest, the two were ordered to pay €500 in bail and released. Should the two be found guilty, they may have to pay a fine or serve 3 years in prison.

Occupation of Czechoslovakia by the German fascist troops, October 1938, UBz: inhabitants of Eger at the entry of German fascist associations. Date of issue: 5 October 1938

Occupation of Czechoslovakia by German fascist troops, October 1938. Inhabitants of Eger at the entry of German fascist associations. Date of issue: October 5, 1938. (Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H13160 / Unknownwikidata:Q4233718/ CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 de], via Wikimedia Commons)

Germany has strict laws that regulate the use and distribution of unconstitutional organizations, their symbols, and flags.

According to section 86a of the German criminal code, whoever distributes or publicly uses symbols of unconstitutional organizations — in particular, flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans, and forms of greeting — will be punished with imprisonment for not more than 3 years or a fine.

Furthermore, Nazi symbols, slogans, salutes, and party songs all fall into the category that is forbidden by German law.

Germany’s history even today is burdened by the Nazi rule, which was under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler during World War II between 1933 and 1945.

After World War II, tight rules, laws, and regulations were set in place against hate speech and the use of symbols and flags related to Nazis/Hitler, or more precisely, to the National Socialist Party in Germany during that era.

Germany is not the only European country that has laws against the use and distribution of National Socialist Party slogans and symbols.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria also treat such activities as criminal offenses.

Translated by Cecilia

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