Chinese tourists in Germany charged after Nazi salutes
Like millions of visitors to Germany each year, two Chinese tourists made their way this weekend to the Reichstag, seat of the lower house of Parliament, where they snapped photos of themselves outside the historic building.
But the two tourists were hauled off to a police station after running afoul of decades-old laws forbidding the use of outlawed symbols and gestures — like those used by Hitler and the Nazis.
According to the police, the two snapped cellphone photos of each other making a Nazi salute outside the Reichstag — an illegal act witnessed by police officers assigned to guard the numerous historic sites in the area.
The unidentified tourists, 36 and 49, were charged early Saturday under post1945 laws.
While citizens of Germany, Austria and other European countries are schooled in the laws that forbid resurrecting Nazi symbols and gestures, it is not clear whether the increasing numbers of Chinese visitors to Europe are conscious of the measures, most commonly used to prosecute members of the far right on the Continent.
Since China put the European Union on its list of approved tourist destinations, the volume of Chinese sightseers to Europe has surged.
The increase in the number of Chinese tourists and the growing efforts by countries to attract them have not been met with open arms around the globe, as many complain of a clash of cultures, language and common courtesy. In 2013, a mainland Chinese tourist in Luxor, Egypt, discovered that a fellow countryman had carved his own hieroglyphics on the wall of a 3,500-year-old temple: “Ding Jinhao was here.”
A photo of the scrawl drew outrage on social media.