Just before noon Saturday, police officers in Marshall, Minn., were called to the town’s Walmart on a report that two shoppers were wearing masks emblazoned with swastikas.
Another shopper, Raphaela Mueller, the vicar of a southwest Minnesota parish, filmed the swastika-wearing man and woman as they were confronted by others in the store. Then she posted the video on Facebook, where it went viral.
“If you vote for Biden, you’re going to be living in Nazi Germany,” the woman with the swastika mask told Mueller, as her companion bagged up toilet paper and an enormous canister of cheeseballs. The two were apparently using the masks to protest Minnesota’s mask mandate, which took effect Saturday.
Per the store’s request, law enforcement served trespass notices to the 59-year-old man and 64-year-old woman, warning them that if they will face arrest should they return. The two departed without incident and charges were not pursued.
Mueller, who was born and raised in Germany, accompanied the video with a message about how her great-grandmother had fought in the underground against the Nazis, and a reminder that the swastika is a symbol of hate.
“It’s been shown that, biologically, trauma passes down through the generations in your DNA,” she said. “My immediate physical reaction was nausea and wanting to cry, so I can’t imagine what that must feel like for other people who lost family members in the Holocaust.”