Contrary to what the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party say, the Nazi salute is not a Roman salute. There are no works of art or texts that refer to this gesture as being created or adopted by the Romans. It is possible that a single painting called the Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David (1784) is the starting point for the salute and became associated with the Romans. This was then elaborated on in films and plays of the 19th and 20th century as an ancient Roman custom which it never was. This was then copied by the Italian Nazi party probably from the silent film Cabiria (1914) written by ultra nationalist Gabriele d’Annunzio.
The problem with neo-Nazis is that they will swallow anything they are told by their Führer. A quick search into the issue will show that the vast majority of academics and historians do not believe that the Nazi salute was ever Roman. Even their very own beloved Hitler said of the salute
I made it the salute of the Party long after the Duce had adopted it. I’d read the description of the sitting of the Diet of Worms, in the course of which Luther was greeted with the German salute. It was to show him that he was not being confronted with arms, but with peaceful intentions. In the days of Frederick the Great, people still saluted with their hats, with pompous gestures. In the Middle Ages the serfs humbly doffed their bonnets, whilst the noblemen gave the German salute. It was in the Ratskeller at Bremen, about the year 1921, that I first saw this style of salute. It must be regarded as a survival of an ancient custom, which originally signified: “See, I have no weapon in my hand!” I introduced the salute into the Party at our first meeting in Weimar. The SS at once gave it a soldierly style. It’s from that moment that our opponents honored us with the epithet “dogs of Fascists”.
No mention of ancient Rome.
So let it go, Golden Dawn. You cannot keep lying to the rest of us. Your leader said it himself when he did the Nazi salute
Yes, we do the salute but at least our hands are clean
He was referring to Golden Dawn being “cleaner” than other parties.
It was not said as a joke!!