Fuhrer`s presence annoys football fans in New York bar

Last Updated: Monday, July 5, 2010 - 15:33

New York: Football enthusiasts crowding a bar here were taken aback when a man dressed as Adolf Hitler, complete with a trademark moustache and a swastika armband, walked in to support Germany in a World Cup tie.

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

Moviemaker, Steve Staso, wore a taped-on moustache, a tan Nazi-like outfit and a swastika armband and entered Café 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 semi-final birth.

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 had some choice words for him. I told him to remove it," 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. 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.

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 said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, July 5, 2010 - 15:33

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