German reenactors not allowed at River of Time after Nazi displa - WNEM TV 5

German reenactors not allowed at River of Time after Nazi display

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A group of reenactors will not be allowed to return to a Bay City event after outrage in the community over a controversial display.

The Board of Directors of the Bay County Historical Society Museum announced Friday, Sept. 29 they decided to not allow the German reenactors to return to the River of Time event in Veterans Memorial Park.

People who contacted TV5 were upset about folks dressed as Nazi soldiers and officers, holding and flying Nazi flags. TV5 learned the group with the display travels around the Midwest and it was the third year they were at the River of Time event.

“It is unfortunate that this incident happened and people were upset and offended by the young gentlemen holding the German flag, and the board of directors would like to apologize, and will re-assure that this will never happen again,” said Michael Bacigalupo, Director of the Bay County Historical Society Museum.

Local reenactors came to the defense of their comrades after controversy thrust them into the national spotlight. They said Nazis are a part of history at the reenactors belong at the event.

"It's just a shame to see that we can't even teach history without sparking a controversy," said Bailey Richardson, war reenactor.

Bacigalupo said the River of Time committee will discuss other ways to depict the history of different armed forces units.

Some residents were upset with the committee's decision and protested outside City Hall on Friday.

The protesters said reenactments are meant to be educational and while the reenactors broke the rules, they should not be banned from the event.

The 2018 River of Time event is slated for Sept. 28-30.  

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