The Nazi salute
, or Hitler salute
(, literally Hitler Greeting or Deutscher Gruß
, German Greeting), was a gesture
of greeting in Nazi Germany
usually accompanied by saying, Heil Hitler!
, Heil, mein Führer
, or Sieg Heil!
. Characteristic of a cult of personality
, it was adopted in the 1930s by the Nazi Party to signal obedience to the party's leader Adolf Hitler
and to glorify the German nation and later the war effort. The salute was mandatory for civilians but optional for military personnel
, where the traditional military salute
was retained until shortly after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944. Currently, use of this form of greeting constitutes a criminal offense in Germany
and the Czech Republic
To perform the salute, it was customary to extend one's right arm straight in front of oneself, raise it at least to eye level, straighten the hand so that it is parallel to the arm and say emphatically, Heil Hitler!
, or at least Heil!
. If one saw an acquaintance at a distance, it sufficed to simply raise the right hand. If one encountered a superior, one would also say, Heil Hitler
. If physical disability prevented raising the right arm, it was... Read More