A recent Nazi-themed Christmas feast has made people furious.
Last week, Minneapolis news outlet CityPages received a photo that shows a group of diners at local restaurant Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit dressed in German SS uniforms and surrounded by Nazi flags. According to the news outlet, the private dinner party, which is attended by members of several German re-enactment groups in Minnesota, happens once a year.
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Despite a wave of backlash, at least one person is standing behind the decision to host the themed party.
"If you wear a German uniform or a Nazi uniform, it's not like you're saying 'I think Hitler was super cool' or 'I hate Jews' or 'I hate gays' or 'I hate democrats,'" WWII Historical Re-enactment Society Inc. member Jon Boroom, who attended the party in January, told CityPages. "You're not there because you believe in what [Adolf] Hitler stood for -- you're there to educate people about history, and a lot of that is so people don't forget. It's the same as wanting to be the bad guy when you're playing cowboys and Indians. There's an attraction to the bad side."
On Monday, WWII Historical Re-enactment Society Inc. officials posted a message to Facebook and distanced the group from the Nazi-themed dinner.
Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit owner Mario Pierzchalski did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.
The idea of a Nazi-themed party seems to contradict the meaning of the restaurant's name. According to the restaurant’s website, “In Bavaria, Gasthof means a guest house where everyone is welcome. Gemutlichkeit is the warm, comfortable feeling one receives from pleasant surroundings and atmosphere!”
Update: Minnesota Star Tribune reports that a member of Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit's staff was fired for taking photos of the party while working. In an interview, the restaurant's owner Mario Pierzchalski defended the legality of the party, saying its members were "just actors."
"If I break the law, punish me," he said. "But we did this for so many years and everything was fine.”
Correction: A previous version of this post said the party took place in December. It was held on Martin Luther King day in January.