Even Nazis weren’t quite sure how to do the Hitler salute

Plus: Water cannon in Northern Ireland; what truancy can save in holiday costs; and the odds of an official message on ET

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

Gesture politics

A royal home movie from 1933 apparently showed the future Queen, aged seven, and her mother giving a Nazi salute. Like the Swastika, the stiff-armed salute was not invented by the Nazis. In this case they took it from the Mussolini and his Fascists, who thought it came from ancient Rome. Three Roman soldiers are shown making such a gesture in Jacques-Louis David’s 1784 painting ‘Oath of the Horatii’.But the US beat both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy by using the gesture to accompany the pledge of allegiance.
Hitler himself claimed the salute was one of peace, saying it meant ‘Look! I am holding no weapon.’ But like the royal family, he and his followers never quite agreed on how to do it: while Hitler raised his arm no more than 20 degrees above the horizontal, other senior Nazis raised theirs 45 degrees and members of the Hitler Youth — like the future Edward VIII in the home movie — favoured 70 degrees or even more.

Wet jobs

Theresa May decided not to let police use water cannon in mainland Britain. How often are they seen in Northern Ireland?

Times deployed
2011-2012 31
2012-2013 158
2013-2014 130
2014-2015 45


Times used
2011-2012 14
2012-2013 17
2013-2014 12
2014-2015 0

Source: Police Service of Northern Ireland

Maths lesson

Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw called for the fine for parents who take their children out of school during term time to be raised from £60. How much can a family of four save on a package holiday by going during term?

Two weeks at Sol Antillas Barbabos Hotel, Magaluf, Majorca, with Thomson.
5 August: £4,520  
12 September £3,540
Saving: £980

Ten days at Topkapi Palace hotel, Antalya, Turkey.
10 August: £3,380
15 September: £1,944
Saving: £1,436

Space oddity

Russian physicist and internet billionaire Yuri Milner gave £65 million to a search for aliens. What do the bookmakers think?

William Hill: ‘UK PM or US President announce existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life’: 100-1

Paddy Power: ‘Sitting US President making a statement confirming without doubt the existence of alternative, intelligent life beings from another planet’ in 2015: 100-1

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments
  • The Bogle

    There was a post-War German joke about giving the Nazi salute, the so-called Hitler-Gruß (Hitler greeting). People who had instinctively raised their right arm on seeing a neighbour or a colleague before saying “Heil Hitler” would, on realising the War was now over, check themselves in mid-stream and say: “So hoch lag der Schnee.” (That is how high the snow lay.)

  • Bonkim

    Have these people lots of money to go on expensive foreign holidays? Over-paid.

  • Lisa Danley

    Hello Every One out here, Are you seeking for a love spell to being back the one you love??

    I have decided that i am going to spend the whole day on the internet just to make sure that a lot of people are able to read my testimony about Dr.Sam who is a powerful and genuine spell caster, My name is Lisa Danley,I am from Stevenage,UK .I’m happily married to a lovely and caring husband ,with three kids. A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my husband .so terrible that he took the case to court for a divorce.he said that he never wanted to stay with me again,and that he didn’t love me anymore.So he packed out of the house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get him back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and he confirmed it that he has made his decision,and he never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my husband .So i explained every thing to him,so he told me that the only way i can get my husband back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for him too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow his advice. Then he gave me the email address of the spell caster whom he visited.{}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address he gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my husband back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my husband who didn’t call me for the past seven months,gave me a call to inform me that he was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there who have any problem to please contact him through this email address: .,,,.