WATCH: Couple Wears Swastika Mask While Shopping At Walmart
A man and woman shopping at Walmart in Marshall, Minnesota, on the first day of the state’s mask mandate donned face masks bearing swastikas, according to CBS News.
- Video “posted by Raphaela Mueller, a 24-year-old local Lutheran vicar,” shows the pair standing in the checkout line as they pay for their items.
- Mueller’s partner, Benjamin Ruesch, can be heard on the video calling them out, saying, "You're sick! Yeah, you're sick. You can't be American and wear that mask ... we literally had a war about this."
- The woman replied that she is not a Nazi and claimed they were wearing the masks to bring attention to the threat of socialism in the United States — which she said would take over if Joe Biden is elected in November.
- The man with her was also wearing a Trump t-shirt.
- According to the report, “the 59-year-old man and 64-year-old woman were issued ‘trespass notices,’ which Walmart confirmed means they are not allowed in any Walmart facility for at least one year.”
Mueller said the history of the swastika and Nazi Germany is personal to her. She said she is a German citizen currently on visa to study seminary in the United States, and that she grew up hearing stories about her great-grandmother, Magdalena, a member of an underground Nazi-resistance organization called "The Red Chapel."
- High school teacher Nonna Gutman, “who immigrated to America in 1991 with her family from the Soviet Union as a Jewish refugee,” told CBS News that the individuals were incorrectly using the swastika to represent socialism, if that was their true goal.
- CBS News noted that although the woman claimed they are not Nazis, their use of the symbol “comes at a time when anti-Semitic incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment are at the highest rate in the U.S. since 1979, the Anti-Defamation League noted in May.”