A couple in swastika masks insist they are not Nazis, as Walmart prohibits them

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A couple in Minnesota wore swastika masks while shopping at a Walmart, but claimed they were not Nazis and that despite wearing the Nazi symbol on their faces, they were their political enemies, the fascists.

According to The Washington PostThe incident was captured on video by Raphaela Mueller, a 24-year-old woman who was born and raised in Germany.

When she and her partner, Benjamin Ruesch, saw the couple and confirmed that they were wearing swastikas, they went to the customer service counter to complain.

“That this couple arrived [the Walmart] It’s awful. I identify as a Christian, but if I was Jewish and saw someone with a swastika, I can only assume that I could feel that my life is in danger, “Reusch said. The Washington Post.

Ms. Mueller said she was “really agitated” about the situation. She waited to speak to a manager, but then she saw the couple in a row and confronted them.

Mueller, who claimed that his great-grandmother was part of a resistance group in Berlin during the Adolf Hitler government, said he told the woman that he was from Germany and explained why the couple should not wear a swastika. She said the couple showed little remorse, so they began recording the encounter. The incident occurred in the city of Marshall, located about 150 miles west of Minneapolis.

“This is what my great-grandmother fought against,” she said. “If I don’t say something, why did you risk your life?”

At the beginning of the video, the woman in the swastika masks gives the middle finger to Mrs. Mueller, Mr. Ruesch and another customer who was also criticizing her mask.

Mr. Ruesch tells the woman, “You can’t be an American and wear that mask.”

“We literally had a war on this,” he adds.

The woman then approaches the couple and claims that her mask is a political statement intended to show what would happen if people voted for presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. election.

“I’m trying to tell people what’s going to happen in the United States,” says the woman. The older man with her yells that “we are living under a socialist state.”

The woman continues her strange line of reasoning.

“If you vote for Biden, you will live in Nazi Germany,” says the woman. “So shall”.

The woman continues, trying to explain how “socialism” is going to happen in the United States.

A client says to the woman that “we don’t want you in our neighborhood”, and the woman, with her voice muffled by the fabric printed with the swastika that covers her face, responds by insisting: “You don’t understand, I’m not a Nazi “

“It is incredibly offensive. You are not an American if you wear that mask, ”says Mueller as the woman walks away.

Police arrived at the store and gave the couple intrusion notices. Walmart employees offered the couple disposable masks, but declined. They were asked to leave after they “became belligerent,” according to a statement released by the company.

“We strive to provide a safe and comfortable shopping environment for all of our customers and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment in any aspect of our business,” the statement said. “We are asking everyone to put on face covers when they enter our stores for their safety and the safety of others and it is unfortunate that some people have taken this pandemic as an opportunity to create a distressing situation for customers and associates in our store. “

Marshall Police Chief Jeff Wenker told the Associated Press The couple received non-intrusion notices that effectively banned them from all Walmart stores for next year.

The incident caught the attention of state officials and lawmakers.

“Shameful, plain and simple,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz tweeted. “Thank you to the passers-by who coped with this unacceptable and hate-fueled behavior.”

Senator Tina Smith also weighed in on the video.

“It is not us,” he wrote. “This is not the Minnesota I love.”