Drunk US tourist punched in Germany after giving Nazi salute

The attack victim is being investigated for violating Germany's laws against displaying Nazi symbols or slogans

The attack victim is being investigated for violating Germany's laws against displaying Nazi symbols or slogans

"An unknown passerby then beat up the man and slightly injured him", the statement said.

The man who punched the tourist fled the scene after the assault. He was cited by police for displaying the salute, which is in fact illegal in Germany under the country's laws against the display of Nazi symbols or slogans. It was commonly used during the Third Reich as a greeting and to show loyalty to the Nazi regime.

While residents of Germany and Austria, as well as many of their European neighbors, are educated on the laws forbidding Nazi symbols and expressions, it's not clear if Chinese tourists are aware of the post-1945 statutes.

The incident happened last morning as the tourist, who was "strongly under the influence of alcohol", left a bar in the eastern city's Neustadt area and repeatedly gave the Hitler salute on the street.

The man could face up to three years in prison as punishment in Germany for expressing Nazi symbols, although courts typically settle on fines for a first offense. Similarly, a 30-year-old Canadian tourist was detained in 2011 after being photographed giving the Nazi salute outside the Reichstag.

Germany is not the only European country to ban the salute.

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