The Madison Children’s Museum fired a Wisconsin man with cognitive disabilities after he dressed up as Adolf Hitler for Halloween.
When he wore the costume on a busy street near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on Saturday, the man believed he was mocking the Nazi Party’s leader, according to the museum. He was fired on Tuesday night after his costume was criticized on social media and by some news outlets, including the Jerusalem Post.
According to the museum, he was fired after it was determined that his continued employment would “create an environment at odds with our values and unwelcoming to visitors and staff.” According to the statement, the man’s costume was “completely unacceptable,” and the museum opposes antisemitism, bigotry, and discrimination.
The man also has cognitive disabilities as a result of a traumatic brain injury, according to the museum, and his work over the last decade has been supervised.
“It is our understanding that he believed his costume mocked Hitler,” according to the statement.
The Madison Police Department described the costume as “offensive and reprehensible,” but it was not a crime to wear it. According to police, they informed the man about the concerns raised by his costume.
According to the man’s mother, her family wants privacy while working with professionals on “this sensitive matter.”
Deborah Gilpin, President and CEO of the Museum, did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment on Wednesday.
The man’s costume was “nauseating,” according to StopAntisemitism, a group that documents antisemitic acts. The costume was also condemned by UW Hillel, an organization that supports over 4,000 Jewish students at the university, which stated that “our community cannot stand for this behavior.”
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