Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Veterans Day

Photo "Now Strike A Pose" via Fourth Reich Photography, São Paulo, Brasil
David Zucker

New York (SADM)
- The 33rd Annual Veterans Day Festival was marred by protest this weekend, as groups demonstrated against historic reenactments being performed in Central Park, heckling and throwing food at performers.

Barry Levinstein, Event Organizer for the past four festivals, spoke to SADM reporters after the incident. "It's a real shame. We started these reenactments twelve years ago to bring a sense of history to New York."

New York, while not the site of any battle during the Civil War, was host to the New York Draft Riots, the largest civil uprising in America short of the Civil War itself.

"It was such a downer. No one wanted to see the Civil War anymore, so we thought we'd update it a little to catch the young peoples' attentions. We thought, 'Hey, my dad's always telling the kids about Poland. Why not bring in some of that?'"

Friday and Saturday reenactments of The Battle of Iwo Jima at Delacorte Theater in the park as well as the defeat and establishment of Vichy France in the East Village were protested peacefully by picketers.

Tensions broke early Sunday afternoon as Neo-Nazi and White Supremesist protesters led by Grand Dragon Eli Heinrich gathered before the weekend's finale, Levinstein's dramatic reading of the Hitler Bunker scene from director Oliver Hirschbiegel's 2004 film, Downfall.

"It was pretty awful of them," said Levinstein. "Here we'd gone to real trouble to get the details right and build up to this all week, and then they stand out front shouting spoilers at the audience. How many children are never going to see this as a twist ending, now? It's like I'm seeing The Sixth Sense all over again."

Mr Levinstein, who directs and portrays the Fuhrer, attempted to put on the show as planned, but was pelted with meat as he prepared for his final scene.

"We really came together as a group on this one," said Grand Dragon Heinrich. "My group had actually just arrived from a late lunch at Denny's. We had some leftover Grand Slamwiches, but then the Neo-Nazis showed up with Wendy's Baconators and I've got to admit it was pretty inspiring. There we all were just throwing meat at this Jewi- er … Liberal Obscenist, and we all just came together as one. It didn't matter if the guy next to you was white and blond or white and dark blond or whatever."

Pork, as well as meat mixed with dairy, is of course not kosher to those of Mr. Levinstein's faith, but as the delicious aromas wafted off his era-authentic costume the actor was upbeat. "You know my grandfather used to say bacon wasn't kosher, unless it was 'extra crispy!'"

Plans to hold the festival's closing ceremony, "Surrender On the Missouri," and staff after party at Rice Peppermint Patty's Korean Barbecue and Sushi bar continue as planned.

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