Man Says He Shouted 'Heil Hitler, Heil Trump' at 'Fiddler on the Roof' Show Because He Hates Trump

Anthony M. Derlunas II says the anger directed at him after the incident shows that a high number of Trump supporters were at the theater, NYT reports

FILE PHOTO: In this undated photo provided by Jeffrey Richards Associates, cast members rehearse 'Fiddler on the Roof' in New York.
AP

The man who was escorted out of a Baltimore theater Wednesday for shouting "Heil Hitler, Heil Trump" during a production of "Fiddler on the Roof" said he yelled the slogans because he hates U.S. President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported.

The man, who Baltimore police identified as Anthony M. Derlunas II, 58, told authorities that he had been "drinking heavily throughout the night," the report said.

Derlunas reportedly told officers that the final scene before the intermission reminded him of his hatred for Trump. According to an officer, Derlunas said that the anger directed at him after the incident showed that a high number of Trump supporters were present at the Hippodrome Theater.

Matthew Jablow, a spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, said that no charges would be filed.

“As reprehensible as the man’s words were, they are considered protected free speech because nobody was directly threatened,” Jablow was quoted as saying. The show went on after intermission.

Derlunas could not be reached for comment, the Times added.

"Fiddler on the Roof" is based on a series of Yiddish stories, "Tevye and His Daughters," by Sholem Aleichem. It is the story of Tevye the milkman and his family living in the fictional town of Anatevka, a Jewish shtetl, in 1905.

Wednesday's incident follows the recent killing of 11 people in a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The man charged with the massacre, Robert Bowers, reportedly yelled "All Jews must die" before he started shooting.

A popular Yiddish version of "Fiddler on the Roof," being staged by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, has been extended and will move to a new theater.

The producers announced Wednesday that the show will be moving to the off-Broadway venue Stage 42. The all-Yiddish production has been playing off-Broadway at the Museum of Jewish Heritage since opening in July.

The production by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene was scheduled for an eight-week run but has been extended four times. It will continue to play at its original venue until December 30, with previews at Stage 42 starting in February.

The Hippodrome issued a statement saying it would increase staffing for the show, through November 18, after which the production heads to Pittsburgh, the Times reported.