Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Historical Reenactment Society Throw Nazi-Themed Dinner

Held at a German restaurant in Minnesota, the annual event, Nazi uniforms and flags intact, is reportedly a ‘Star Trek convention but for WWII enthusiasts’

By: Daniel Koren

Published: March 19th, 2014 in News » World

Historical Reenactment Society Throw Nazi-Themed Dinner

City Pages has brought our attention to a bizarre annual Christmas dinner which has apparently taken place for the last 16 years and has been able to stay under the radar.

A historical reenactment society group, focusing specifically on World War II, has been hosting a Nazi-themed dinner at a German restaurant in Minnesota called Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit, the venue for the event over the last six years.

Participants of the event, despite donning Nazi uniforms with swastikas intact, and surrounded by Nazi flags and other such offensive Third Reich-related paraphernalia, insist the event is not a haven for neo-Nazis, but rather, ‘a Star Trek convention but for WWII enthusiasts.’

An unusual comparison, as I’m pretty sure dressing up as Spock isn’t highly offensive or brings up memories of one of the darkest periods in human history.

“All of the German [reenactment] groups in Minnesota have a Christmas party because we don’t typically have events going on in the winter,” said one member of the WWII Historical Reenactment Society Inc., Jon Boorom. “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.”

He added that the society does background checks on all of its members to ensure they don’t harbor any anti-Semitic views or neo-Nazi like mentality, though he did not elaborate on how exactly.

“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,’” Boorom added (isn’t it though?). “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.”

While I am all behind educating others on the Holocaust so that such atrocities do not occur in the future, it’s pretty safe to say that dressing up as some of the most vile, menacing and evil figures of human history isn’t exactly the best way to teach others about sensitivity regarding the Holocaust. Particularly as this event seems to be focused on German food, beer and Nazi flags, it’s hard to see where the educational value kicks in.

To top it all off, Boorom added that “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.”

I don’t even have a comment for that one.

The actual WWII Historical Re-enactment Society has since posted on its Facebook page denying any connection or support of the party, claiming they have never “hosted, supported, or financed any events, or dinners at the Minneapolis based Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit Restaurant.”

How this German restaurant is alright with brandishing Nazi symbols around its restaurant, but yet doesn’t have any affiliation or affinity towards the Third Reich, seems awfully suspicious…….


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