Film-maker dons Hitler attire to back Germany

Last Updated : 05 July 2010, 16:43 IST
Last Updated : 05 July 2010, 16:43 IST

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The bar was packed largely by Argentinian fans watching the team take on Germany in the third quarterfinal last week when the Fuhrer-like figure joined them and offered Nazi salutes time and again.

Nazi-like outfit

Moviemaker Steve Staso wore a taped-on moustache, a tan Nazi-like outfit and a swastika armband and entered Cafe Andalucia in Hell’s Kitchen, leaving some of the fans present offended, the New York Post said.

The 55-year-old also gave ‘Heil Hitler’ salutes during the game, which ended with Germany thrashing Argentina 4-0 to seal a semifinal berth. When asked to stop by several of the fans inside the soccer bar, Staso said he had a right to express himself in the US.

A former law professor Steven Spielvogel recalled Staso shouting out “Deutschland!” and

“Heil Hitler!” while making Nazi salutes.

“I heard some choice words for him. I told him to stop,” said an offended Spielvogel, who added that other patrons were also annoyed at the antics.

“He said, ‘It’s America. I can do what I want’. I said, ‘I am Jewish, and I find it offensive,” Spielvogel said.

Having fun

Later Staso defended his actions saying: “You don’t tell people in Hell’s Kitchen what to do. The point is to have fun. You can’t have fun anymore”.

“I stayed the whole game. I didn’t take off the costume on principal. I ordered a beer in German,” he added.

The cafe owner thought Staso did a “stupid thing” but said there was no need to make political issues about it, perhaps trying to stay away from creating a controversy over the whole episode.

He also expressed anger at the other customers who told New York police about the stunt. However, another customer Joe McKenna was not offended by Staso’s antics.

“Last week, he was Mexican. This week, he’s a Nazi. Who he is next week depends on who is in the final,” he told newsmen at the venue.

Published 05 July 2010, 16:43 IST

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