Chinese tourists in Berlin make Hitler salute, arrested

German law forbids the use of some symbols affiliated with banned organizations in public, such as gestures, uniforms and flags, including those linked to the Nazis. The meeting place of the Imperial Diet, it was torched in 1933 in a calamity that quickened Hitler's rise and wasn't reconstructed until after reunification more than half a century later.

The men, ages 36 and 49, made the illegal salute in front of the Reichstag building, where the German parliament meets, Reuters reported.

Violation of the law is punishable by fine or up to three years incarceration. They were freed after posting a bail of 500 euros ($593).

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These men weren't the first tourists to try pulling off the Hitler salute in Germany.

They were spotted by police taking snaps of each other outside Berlin's Reichstag, the seat of the lower house of Parliament.

The two men were taken to a nearby police precinct and questioned.

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The law is mostly used to indict members of the far right. According to the AFP, the spokesman said the two tourists were free to leave Germany while the investigation was carried out, and that should a fine be levied, it would likely be covered by their bail money.

The Reichstag, outside which the Chinese tourists posed, is also a touchy subject in German history.

According to the Mercator Institute for China Studies, a research foundation based in Berlin, the number of Chinese tourists to Germany swelled above 2 million in 2014.

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