Tourists' Hitler Salutes Get Them Arrested in Berlin

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Germany has strict laws against using symbols and salutations linked to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Hitler ruled Germany from 1933 until his death in 1945, and German criminal code outlawed the salute after World War II.

Breaking anti-hate laws can carry a fine or a prison sentence of up to three years.

The two Chinese tourists were released later on Saturday after posting bail of $593 (500 euro) each according to police.

The Chinese tourists' decision to make the salute outside the Reichstag is particularly ill-judged, with the Reichstag's 1933 fire leading to a vast increase in Nazi power.

Germany's criminal code bans the use of symbols belonging to "unconstitutional organizations" outside of contextual use within "art or science, research or teaching, reporting about current historical events or similar purposes". Germans themselves also fall afoul of the law, with two schoolchildren from Rostock also charged for making Nazi salutes this year.

A police spokeswoman declined on Sunday to reveal further details, and said she did not know whether the tourists were still in Berlin, or even in Germany.

In 2011, police arrested a Canadian tourist for giving the hateful salute while taking pictures outside the Reichstag. The Heil Hitler salute was a gesture used by the Nazi regime to generate support.

The Post reported the Chinese government has expressed concern in the past for "embarrassing behavior" by Chinese tourists traveling overseas and has encouraged travelers to respect local laws and customs.