Some party members challenged the legitimacy of the so-called Roman salute, employed by Fascist Italy, as un-Germanic. In response, efforts were made to establish its pedigree by inventing a tradition after the fact. In June 1928, Rudolf Hess published an article titled "The Fascist Greeting", which claimed that the gesture was used in Germany as early as 1921, before the Nazis had heard about the Italian Fascists. He admits in the article: "The NSDAP's introduction of the raised-arm greeting approximately two years ago still gets some people's blood boiling. Its opponents suspect the greeting of being un-Germanic. They accuse it of merely aping the [Italian] Fascists", but goes on to ask, "and even if the decree from two years ago [Hess' order that all party members use it] is seen as an adaption of the Fascist gesture, is that really so terrible"? Ian Kershaw points out that Hess did not deny the likely influence from Fascist Italy, even if indeed the salute had been used sporadically in 1921 as Hess claimed.
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Trump instructed attendees at his rally to raise their right hand and swear to vote for him in the upcoming Florida republican primary contest. In so doing, he managed to get the entire crowd doing a variation of the the Nazi salute. He didn’t mention the words “Nazi” or “Hitler” but he didn’t have to. Here’s the original tweet from Washington Post reporter Jenna Johnson.