The organizer of a Nazi-themed party that sparked an Internet backlash when pictures of revelers in German uniforms were published has issued a public apology.
“On behalf of everyone who participated in a World War II reenactment dinner last January, I apologize," said Minneapolis resident Scott Steben, who has had small roles as a German soldier in a number of movies.
"We understand that some of the items we displayed at the dinner have made people feel uncomfortable. That was not our intent,” Steben told a local newspaper, the Star Tribune. “We are currently reviewing our practices so that in the future our members will be more mindful of the unintended effects of the materials we display.”
The dinner was held at the Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit restaurant in northeast Minneapolis on January 20 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Steben said the timing of the party was based only on when the restaurant was available.
It featured men dressed in SS and German Army uniforms, as well as Nazi banners hung on the walls of a dining room at the restaurant. Photos taken by a concerned Gasthof’s staffer appear to show about two dozen people at the event.
News of the party brought hostile e-mails and phone calls to the restaurant owner, as well as a letter from two local Jewish groups that offered to help the restaurant find another way to honor World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors.
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