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Couple wears swastika masks in Minnesota Walmart

A video shows the man and woman being confronted by others in the store

A file image of Walmart
A file image of Walmart

MARSHALL, Minn. (AP) – A couple in Minnesota wore red face masks emblazoned with swastikas to a Walmart in a video posted on social media.

Police were called Saturday to the Walmart in Marshall, in the southwest part of the state, on a report that two shoppers were wearing the mask with the symbol used by the Nazi Party. Another shopper, Raphaela Mueller, who is a vicar of a southwest Minnesota parish, posted video on Facebook of the man and woman being confronted by others in the store, the Star Tribune reported.

“If you vote for (Democratic presidential candidate Joe) Biden, you’re going to be living in Nazi Germany, that’s what it’s going to be like,” the woman with the swastika mask said in the video as her husband loaded bags of groceries into a shopping cart.

Edit, since this is going much further than I thought it would (and the trolls and haters are starting to roll in): I was born and raised in Germany, and I grew up hearing about my great-grandmother who fought in the underground against the first wave of Nazis in the 1930s and 40s. Let me make this abundantly clear once and for all - THE SWASTIKA IS A HATE SYMBOL AND YOU DO NOT FLY THE FLAG, YOU DO NOT WEAR THE SYMBOL ANYWHERE ON YOUR BODY, YOU DO NOT USE OR DEFEND THIS SYMBOL, EVER. END OF STORY.

Posted by Raphaela Mueller on Saturday, July 25, 2020

Mueller said when she first saw the couple, she felt “nauseated and I wanted to cry, which I ended up doing.”

“I was speechless and shocked. I have heard of (things like this) happening in other places but I never thought I would see something like that,” she told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Read also: Video: Walmart shopper pulls gun on man in dispute over mask

Marshall police gave the couple no-trespass notices but did not cite or arrest them, police Capt. Jeff Wenker told the AP on Sunday. Police did not identify the couple.

Saturday was the first day that Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's executive order took effect requiring masks in businesses and indoor public spaces to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Walmart already requires customers to wear masks at its namesake and Sam's Club stores.

In a statement, Walmart said the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer “will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment in any aspect of our business.”

“Store management offered the individuals disposable face masks as an alternative, which they refused. The individuals became belligerent and were asked to leave the store by store management,” Walmart said.

The couple’s trespass ban is for at least a year and applies to all Walmart stores, the company said.