The Nazi salute or Hitler salute (German: Hitlergruß – literally "Hitler Greeting") is a gesturethat was used as a greeting in Nazi Germany. The salute is performed by extending the right arm from the neck into the air with a straightened hand. Usually, the person offering the salute would say "Heil Hitler!" (Hail Hitler!), "Heil, mein Führer!" (Hail, my leader!), or "Sieg Heil!" (Hail victory!). 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 German war effort). The salute was mandatory for civilians, but was mostly optional for military personnel who retained the traditional military salute until shortly after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler in July 1944.
Use of this salute is currently a criminal offense in Germany, Slovakia,and Austria. In Canada, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and Russia, the salute is illegal hate speech if used for propagating Nazi ideology.