What is the Goose step march? Justin Bieber under fire over alleged Nazi salute

On Tuesday, August 9, Justin Bieber’s performance in his Helsinki, Finland concert received much criticism after he appeared to do a “goose step march.” The Sorry hitmaker further did what appeared to be the Nazi salute known as “Sieg Heil.”

At the concert, Bieber used the gesture and the step in front of around 20,000 attendees. According to The Times of Israel’s religious and diaspora affairs correspondent, Judah Ari Gross, the Conference of European Rabbis has condemned his usage of the step along with the Sieg Heil.

Justin Bieber, who’s apparently still a thing, decided to goose-step and do a sieg Heil at a concert in Finland yesterday.The Conference of European Rabbis denounced his actions and demands an explanation. Will he repeat the performance when he comes to Israel this fall?

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Jewish organization Conference of European Rabbis, told the Times of Israel:

“The famous singer slapped the faces of millions of Jews worldwide when he chose to perform the ‘sieg heil’ movement that symbolizes identification with Nazi party values.”

Goldschmidt further called for Israel to ban Justin Bieber’s upcoming concert in the country but the organizers rejected his demand and stated:

“These are dance moves…Dance moves are meant to entertain. Not everything has to do with the Jewish people…”

Justin Bieber’s “goose step march” controversy


In the August 9 concert, Justin Bieber appeared to do the “goose step” march, which resembled the march of many military services across the world that use this crucial step in their parades. This type of marching exemplifies an excessive articulation of the limbs while walking in formation. The limbs move in a synchronized manner, with the legs and arms being as straightened as possible.

However, since Bieber’s knees were bent while he marched, it is clear that he did not intend to do the goose step march.

Yet, Justin Bieber seems to have received most of the flak over how he held his handheld microphone while performing the goose step march. As his right arm, holding the microphone, was perpendicular to his legs, this seemed to have come across as resembling the marches of Nazi soldiers.

The Nazi parade mandated soldiers to move in unison with the goose step march while their right arms were extended in a horizontally straight manner. The gesture done by their right arm was referred to as the Sieg Heil salute, which originated in the Nazi Germany era.


According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the “Goose step” originated in 1806 in the context of military usage. Thus, the term predates the Nazi party and their oppression of Jews. However, some western nations still associate the marching step with the Nazis.

Meanwhile, the Sieg Heil gesture has always been associated with the Nazi salute and is currently banned in many countries like Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia. In a few other European countries, the gesture is only illegal when used with the intent to promote Nazi ideology.

While not precisely known about the laws regarding the display of the Sieg Heil in Finland, it is expected to be looked down upon and and can invite legal penalties. Last year, the majority of the Finnish party supported the ban on the public display of Nazi Swastika flags. Thus, it clarifies that Finland’s government would not be pleased with anyone who would intend to promote Nazi ideologies with the Sieg Heil salute.

Netizens react to Justin Bieber’s alleged use of the Sieg Heil salute during performances

While Bieber was slammed by many, some argued that it is possible that Justin Bieber did not intend to have his gesture resemble that of the Nazi salute. The argument in defense of Bieber stated that, the 28-year-old held the microphone in his hand while it was raised. Since a Sieg Heil is mostly done with a flat palm, thus, Bieber’s gesture did not accurately represent the salute.

Justin Bieber did not intend to make a Nazi salut and the bend in the knee makes it specifically NOT a goose step.…

@JudahAriGross First let me say, I am not a fan of Justin Bieber and if he was actually doing what you said I would be upset.However, that is not a goose-step and he is holding the mic in his hand and holding it out to the crowd, which is normal at concerts, not giving a NAZI salute.

Justin Bieber being a nazi was not on my 2022 bingo card 🤣🤣…

It would be a lot funnier if Justin Bieber actually was a neo nazi…

Justin Bieber is a BLM, social-justice simp. He’s currently on his “Justice” tour.The idea that he just randomly decided to impersonate a Nazi on stage for the world to see is one of the most desperate attempts to manufacture racism that I’ve seen.…

Please don’t make me defend Justin Bieber over jews, But that’s not either a nazi salute or goose-stepping.You should apologize for smearing him like that…

I’ma be charitable and assume Justin Bieber isn’t a nazi and that wasn’t a seig heil I think

@JudahAriGross 🤦‍♂️I have no nice words to say to you in response to this other than you need to get out more, maybe get some exercise and change your diet, idk.Compare this to a real sieg heil being taught to children in…

@JudahAriGross I think he should put out a statement, “Sorry, didn’t mean to offend,” but he’s holding the mic out for the audience to chime in and he is doing a high-knees march, not a goose step.

@Timcast As much as I despise the little prick, he isn’t goose stepping. He’s just stomping to the beat and hyping up the audience.

@JudahAriGross That’s objectively not a sieg Heil or a goose-step. Are you really this desperate to find a reason to be offended by something?

@JudahAriGross He’s holding his mic out to hear the cheers, and stomping to the beat. I have a feeling he had no idea how this appeared.

@JudahAriGross That is not goose-stepping. That’s a guy strutting around on stage while pointing and entertaining an audience.…

A legion of tweets alleged that Justin Bieber did not perform the Nazi salute or their march and claimed that his gesture and gait were common in on-stage concerts.

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