Feb 28, 2011 2:18 AM GMT
The Reichstag in Berlin.
Photograph by: Getty Images, file photo
German police detained a 30-year-old Quebec tourist after he posed for a photograph while striking the Nazi salute.
LONDON - A Quebec tourist who thought it was amusing to have himself photographed outside the Reichstag in Berlin giving the "Heil Hitler" Nazi salute has been arrested.
The 30-year-old man was standing on the steps of the German parliament building with his right arm raised as his girlfriend, 29, photographed him in the forbidden pose.
Police arrived within seconds, handcuffed him and seized the camera's memory card.
He risked being formally charged with making a forbidden gesture, an offence for which he could have been jailed for up to six months.
But it is understood he will be let off with a fine and a warning. He was freed after several hours in police custody on Saturday after posting bail.
Hundreds of tourists every year make the mistake of thinking that Monty Pythonesque jokes about Hitler and his henchmen – including giving his infamous raised-arm salute – are acceptable when visiting Germany.
But any gestures of the old Nazi regime, or the displaying of any of its symbols, are a serious crime in modern-day Germany. Three years ago a British businessman at Cologne airport gave the salute to a taxi official – and was arrested immediately.
See also: Quebec Languages Act briefly becomes Nazi Act on Wikipedia
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