Two Chinese tourists made Hitler salutes in front of Berlin's historic Reichstag building and got themselves arrested. The meeting place of the Imperial Diet, it was torched in 1933 in a calamity that quickened Hitler's rise and wasn't reconstructed until after reunification more than half a century later.
Using symbols and gestures, such as the Nazi salute, can carry a sentence of up to three years in jail.
When Beijing announced that it planned to publicly shame unruly tourists, Chinese citizens were encouraged to take photos or video of any bad behaviour they spotted and pass it on to authorities.
Germany's criminal code bans the use of symbols belonging to "unconstitutional organizations" outside of contextual use within "art or science, research or teaching, reporting about current historical events or similar purposes".
The two Chinese tourists were released later on Saturday after posting bail of $593 (500 euro) each according to police.
A police spokesman said that the Chinese tourists were allowed to leave Germany during the investigation into their illegal actions.
The charges that the tourists face were usually used to prosecute right wing hardliners. If a fine was meted out, the bail money they have already hand over would cover the costs.
Since China put the European Union on its list of approved tourist destinations, the volume of Chinese sightseers to Europe has surged, with many taking advantage of more direct flights to shop and see the sights and to pour millions into staggering economies.
The two Chinese tourists were widely mocked and criticized in China.