Fascist greeting

The Fascist greeting is the greeting that the followers of the movements of this ideology are currently using . It is a variant of the Roman salute , and was adopted by the National Fascist Party and fascist Italy by Benito Mussolini , by the German National Workers’ Party and Nazi Germany under the command ofAdolf Hitler and by the Spanish Falange of the National Offensive Boards Syndicalist and the dictatorship of Francisco Franco in Spain . Other political parties and regimes in this same environment have also used it.


To perform the fascist salute, the arm should be placed at an angle of about 40 ° above the horizontal, and barely flanked to the right. In Nazi Germany he was almost always accompanied by the phrase Heil Hitler! , Pronounced in a firm and clear voice. It was usually used to fire Nazi soldiers. If the salute was performed while facing a superior officer, the heels could be struck simultaneously. At rallies and rallies, the arms of the crowd could also be raised, to the cry of Sieg Heil .

In Spain, it was adopted by the Spanish Falange , although it differed from the Nazi salute in which it was not so rigid. Accompanied by this, he used to shout “Arriba España” , which was a cry on the rebellious side during the Spanish Civil War and Franco .



Some Nazi leaders believed that the Roman salute of the Roman Empire had been of the Germanic peoples, and so it seems to be shown in some illustrations of the nineteenth century that salutes the election of a new Germanic king. 1

The Encyclopedia Brockhaus refers to this expression by saying that the Hitlerian greeting is derived from the gestures used during the coronation of the Germanic kings of the Middle Ages by the simple exclamation of “Heil .” 2 According to the Nazis of the time, the Roman version was nothing more than a version Norse of the Aryan race and thus the custom migrated south of Europe where he settled with the greeting ‘Hail Caesar’.

It should be noted that none of these theories is sustainable: there are no Germanic or Norse illustrations or Norse texts prior to the nineteenth century in which this greeting is described.

Uses during the Third Reich

During the period from 1933 to 1945 , the greeting Heil Hitler! (‘Hail Hitler!’) 3 became very common in German social circles and was employed by citizens from the upper Waffen SS bodies. Hitler preferred to be greeted as Heil, mein Führer ! Or just Heil! . The employment of Sieg Heil ! Or ‘Save Victoria!’ Was very common during the Nazi period, and was pronounced especially during the speeches of Hitler. It was very common to be repeated three times in the form of a choral song: Sieg … Heil! Sieg … Heil! Sieg … Heil! Heil Hitler! .

After the plot of July 20 in 1944 , the military forces of the Third Reich ordered to replace the ordinary military greeting by the version of salute to Hitler. The order had its effective date 24 of July of 1944 , 4 days after the attack to the life of Hitler in Rastenburg . Prior to this situation, greeting to Hitler was optional in the German military forces, and from this date was established as official salute.

Use in Spain

Falange Española , the party founded by Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1933 , began the use of the fascist greeting, denominated “Iberian greeting” by its leaders. After the unification of traditionalist and Falangist movements in a single party , FET de las JONS , and in particular after the end of the Civil War, the greeting becomes one of the symbols of the so-called National Movement . Between the 17 of July of 1936 and the 11 of September of 1945 the greeting was obligatory in all the national territory. After the defeat of the Axis in World War II, the salutation ceases to have official character, in order to give a good impression to the countries winners of the war. For example, in the Spanish film of Francoist exaltation, Raza , eliminated all scenes where the soldiers of the revolted side greet with the arm raised. However, in the multitudinous gatherings convened by the regime in honor of Franco , attendees raised their right arm in tones the Face to the sun as an adherence to the regime.

In 1976 , with the resignation of President Carlos Arias Navarro , the greeting loses its de facto “semi-official” character.

After 1945

The Roman greeting, on which Hitler’s greeting was based, was used in different countries as well as for different purposes during World War II . For example, the Bellamy greeting , used in the United States as Pledge of Allegiance in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century , was a version of the Roman greeting with some similarities to the Nazi salute. The Bellamy greeting was abandoned since 1942 precisely because of its similarity. The same happened with other greetings and greeting forms based on the Roman greeting throughout the world. In Chile , [ citation needed ] and Mexico [ citation needed ] the Roman greeting during the Pledge of Allegiance is used as a greeting .

The greeting as it is known has been banned in Germany and Austria since the end of World War II. A version of the greeting used by Michael Kühnen employs an extended thumb. Currently in Germany the use of the expression “Sieg Heil” is a crime , except for educational, scientific or artistic purposes. [ Citation needed ]


  1. Back to top↑ According to the illustrations shown in the Illustrated Exhibitor , the reconstruction of such ceremonies between the Gauls and the Germans was represented by Augustin Thierry . Illustrated Exhibitor, 1852, vol. 1., pp.165-6
  2. Back to top↑ “Der Nazi-Gruß war aus der spätgermanischen Zeit hergeleitet”; Brockhaus Encyclopedia, 1989, vol. 9, p. 604
  3. Back to top↑ The word in otherlanguagesas English can betranslatedas hale , in the sense of prosperity. The word has a certain meaning like “greeting” and “honor”.