Mario Pierzchalski, the owner of Gasthof Zur Gemütlichkeit, has issued an apology letter to the community for the Nazi-themed dinner held at his restaurant on Martin Luther King Day.
Pierchalski posted the letter in the comments section of City Pages' initial post about the dinner. The letter was also tucked into a recent issue of the Bottineau Gazette, the Bottineau neighborhood's local paper.
A number of protests -- including a flash mob event during which protesters' cars were towed at Pierzchalski's orders -- have been held outside Gasthof's since City Pages broke news of the dinner party in March.
In the letter, Pierzchalski maintains that the group was a private party of World War II re-enactors. He insists that more than just German re-enactors were present, though this has yet to be confirmed. The photos that emerged from the event depicted only Nazi flags, uniforms, and Nazi "tour" t-shirts.
"At no time during this party was there any activity that would be in violation of my restaurant policies or my personal policies," Pierzchalski wrote.
The letter in its entirety can be found below.
"My name is Mario Pierzchalski, and I am the owner and operator of Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit restaurant. This statement is in response to the publicity surrounding an event at my restaurant on January 20, 2014.
A group of people, who are members of a World War ll reenactment group, made reservations for a private party on a Monday, a day when we are normally closed to the public. Private parties are sometimes held on Mondays so groups of people can have privacy for whatever reason they choose. As long as their activities are not illegal, immoral, or unethical, I do not interfere with their celebrations. Most parties are not large enough to justify closing the restaurant to the public, but on Mondays, we are normally closed, and I gladly accept private parties for that day. My restaurant did not sponsor or plan this event, but only provided a dining space with food and drink.
For this particular group, there were props and costumes used for the gathering. Yes, some people were dressed in German military uniforms, but there were also people dressed in Italian and Allied (American, British, etc.) military uniforms. At no time during this party was there any activity that would be in violation of my restaurant policies or my personal policies.
I was born and raised in Poland and immigrated to the United States in 1983. Many of my friends and family members back home were victimized by the atrocities perpetrated against the Polish people by the Nazis during World War ll. Though I was born a short time after that was ended, I witnessed the physical and emotional scars left behind. I flat out reject with disgust the actions of the Nazis during World War ll along with any sympathizers who attempt to glorify or participate in similar evil and inhumane behaviors today.
I left Poland seeking political asylum in the United States after being persecuted for actively opposing Communism and openly supporting the Solidarity movement. There could be nothing more offensive or demeaning to me than to support any activities which portray or promote Nazi beliefs. The dinner at my restaurant, which was this particular group's last, was a reenactment dinner with its participants playing historical parts.
Regretfully, I have become aware that may people have been negatively affected by this situation. Most of those are people with whom I honestly believe that I align myself.
I have spent over two decades building a reputation and trust among my customers and the community. For anyone, customers, non-customers or the community, who has been negatively impacted by this situation, I extend my wholehearted apology and say I am sorry."