Two Chinese tourists posing for cell phone pictures in front of the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building, wound up under arrest Saturday for making the Heil Hitler gesture, according to multiple media reports citing German police.

The two men, ages 36 and 49, have been released after each posting close to $600 bail.

Hate speech and symbols are largely verboten today in Germany. The Nazis, who ruled between 1933 and 1945, used such methods to help whip up support, allowing millions of Jews and other minorities to be systemically slaughtered.

After World War II, the Nazi party was banned and strict rules against hate speech and symbols were designed to protect vulnerable people.

On Saturday, the Chinese men were charged under Germany’s criminal code prohibiting the “use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations,” including “flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting.”

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SOURCE: NPR, Amy Held

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