Friday, October 8, 2010

Nazi Salute

Everyone knows what the Nazi salute is. On doing a tour in Munich this is what was said to us and an example of it was not given. This is as the guide explained because it is now a criminal offense to do the Nazi salute in Germany. You can be thrown into jail for up to three years. A foreigner will also be deported and banned from returning for several years as well as having 'Nazi Sympathizer' attached to their passport.

Obviously it wasn't always a criminal offense. In fact, during Hitler's reign at times it was a criminal offense to not do the salute. It was mandatory to do the salute in Munich when passing the Hitler statue and a failure to do it resulted in death.

Some people didn't want to die, but they also didn't want to support the Nazi party. The picture above is one of many subtle memorials found throughout the city of Munich. It represents a path people walked so they didn't walk by the statue and thus didn't have to do a Nazi salute. Unfortunately party members started noticing people walking the long way and realized what their reasons were. They were forced at gun point to go to the statue and do the salute or be shot.

I can't imagine what it would be like to live with such forced devotion. Our freedom is something we take for granted and something we should be grateful for.

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