UPDATE: In a story that keeps getting more tone-deaf, this dinner was actually held on MLK Day. New images have emerged as well.
It’s 2014 and yet it seems you can’t go a week without a ridiculous story transporting us back to Nazi Germany.
Last week it was a Florida woman doing the Heil Hitler salute at a community board meeting, and this week it’s a report of a quaint Nazi-themed Christmas soiree at a German restaurant in Minneapolis.
City Pages received an anonymous tip, a photo of the December gathering, showing Nazi flags and men sporting authentic SS uniforms.
Fear not, this is not a sign of the resurgence of the Nazi party in America. No, there is a perfectly good explanation for this heinous scene at Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit restaurant. Jon Boorom is a member of WWII Historical Re-enactment Society Inc., the group that put on the dinner, and said it was just a fun get together of people with likeminded interests.
“All of the German [re-enactment] groups in Minnesota have a Christmas party because we don’t typically have events going on in the winter,” Boorom says. “It’s just like any club that has a party. Because they dress up like Germans from World War II, it’s cool to go to a German restaurant, eat German food, and drink German beer.”
Cool. Yes, “cool” is probably the best way to describe it. Not disgusting, offensive, culturally tone deaf. Nope, it’s as cool as a dog in sunglasses.
The craziest part — hmm, well, it’s hard to choose the craziest part here — but *a* crazy part is that this event has been taking place annually for 16 years now (though it’s *only* been held in this restaurant for the last six). How is it possible that this dinner has been kept under wraps for all these years? The NSA could learn a thing or two from the event organizers.
Boorom insists that attendees are not neo-Nazis or “political racists,” just merely cultural admirers.
“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,'” Boroom explains. “You’re not there because you believe in what 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.”
AGAIN with the “cool” thing. Good lord, find a new word when talking about Nazism. This is terrible. Everything is just terrible.
UPDATE: A Twitter tipper tells us that this was the restaurant from the Minneapolis edition of Man v. Food:[via City Pages, h/t Gawker]