A couple in Marshall, Minnesota has been banned from a Walmart store for a full year when they walked in wearing Nazi swastika face masks over the weekend. When confronted by fellow shoppers at the checkout to remove them, the 59-year-old man and his 64-year-old wife insisted they were not Nazis but were wearing them as a sign of protest against socialism in America in the midst of the mask mandate being implemented in most states.
Video footage shared on social media showed the woman flashing obscene hand gestures while the shopper filming the video can be heard saying, “you cannot be an American and wear that mask. You cannot. We literally had a war about this.”
The woman in the swastika mask made a loud statement telling everyone that she is not a Nazi but claimed, “if you vote for Biden, you’re going to be in Nazi Germany. That’s what it’s going to be like. Socialism is going to happen here in America.”
In another photo shared on Facebook, the same woman is seen raising her left arm in a manner that depicts a Nazi salute.
As officers from the Marshall Police Department arrived, they then issued a notice of trespass to the couple. The couple’s names were not identified and they were reported to have left the store with no resistance.
Raphaela Mueller, the shopper who took the video and photos of the couple, said she was born and raised in Germany and seeing the symbol literally made her feel physically ill.
A spokesperson from the Walmart store strongly echoed her disdain for the couple’s unacceptable behaviour and reassured that the couple will not be allowed to enter Walmart stores for at least a year. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has also weighed in on the incident, as he took to social media to condemn the couple’s appalling behaviour.
Religious groups such as the Jewish Community Relations Council released a statement to address the incident saying that comparing the Holocaust against the measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during this pandemic by wearing hate symbols to make a political statement is an “insult to the memory” of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.