When you think of pictures of Hitler, your mind probably goes to one that shows him saluting, like the picture below. It’s a picture of Hitler returning the Nazi Salute. Literally this was known as a gesture of the Hitler Salute, which was used as a greeting in Nazi Germany. Heil Hitler became a greeting with the extended right arm or left arm, if disability kept someone from raising their right arm. The salute was also accompanied with the expression Heil, mein Führer. (Hail my leader)
This picture below of this crowd in Germany is an attention-grabber from that Hitler era. It shows more than just a man in the crowd. As you can see, the circled man is the only person in the picture not gesturing the Hitler Salute. As of 1926, the Heil Hitler salute was made compulsory. It served as a display of commitment to the Nazi Party.
Depending on the date of this photograph, the man could be facing punishment for not saluting. Compulsory saluting moved to a decree of the law, by the Minister of the Interior. As of July 13, 1933, all German public employees were required to use the salute. By the end of 1934, special courts were established to punish all citizens who refused to salute. Your failure to salute was considered rebellion against the Nazi government.
The progression of the salute as a matter of law, shows what happens when a government can continually seize the rights of its citizens. Soon, laws can have no bearing on effective governing. They simply are enacted to control.
The ending to the salute came with the defeat of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Currently, this salute is considered a criminal offense in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria. In Switzerland and Sweden, the salute is illegal and has been classified as illegal hate speech.
When I saw that historical photo of the one man, it made me think? Even put on my thinking cat. Yes, a crazy, scary law to test loyalty.
And now, for pic o’ day. How about some more costumes? (Can’t bring myself to mention the Colts game last night)