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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Tourist arrested after giving Hitler salute (Berlin, Germany)

Admin Comment : Anti-Nazi laws across Europe vary considerably and Britain is considered one of the most tolerable.

Canadian tourist's fun and games taken seriously by local authorities after an attempt to stage a Monty Python-esque sketch in front of Reichstag leads to arrest.

Hundreds of the tourists who visit Berlin's Reichstag every year seem to believe that if they impersonate Adolf Hitler and his henchmen, as done by the Monty Python crew with incredible success, they too will receive applause from adoring crowds.

What they fail to understand is that impersonating any Nazi gestures or using any Nazi regime symbols is illegal in Germany and is considered a severe crime with a punishment that includes imprisonment.

A 30-year-old Canadian tourist who visited the Reichstag and had apparently overlooked German laws and regulations and wished to make other visitors to the popular tourist attraction laugh, asked his girlfriend to film him while he gave a Heil Hitler salute.

It took less than a minute before policemen walked up to the Quebec resident and proceeded to handcuff and arrest him. The police also confiscated his digital camera's memory card Britain's Daily Mail reported on Monday.

The Canadian tourist now stands to be prosecuted for carrying out a 'forbidden gesture' and if convicted could be imprisoned for up to six months. Nevertheless, it is estimated that he will not be prosecuted but will be forced to pay a fine. Local media later reported that the tourist was released on bail a few hours after his arrest.

'You can call him a b*****d and you can give him the finger, but you cannot do that,' a German police officer said in response to the arrest.

Arresting foreign citizens over Nazi salutes has occurred in the past in Germany. Three years ago a British businessman gave the salute to a Cologne airport employee and was arrested within 90 seconds by police at the scene.