During the Wednesday (14 November) night production of Fiddler on the Roof at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, a man stood up during intermission and yelled ‘Heil Hitler, Heil Trump‘.
Tech and financial journalist Rich Scherr was one of the many people in the audience. He captured part of the moment on film, with people yelling at the man to get out.
Sick, sad world. A man stands at intermission of tonight’s performance of Fiddler in Baltimore and yells, “Heil Hitler,” along with pro-Trump references. pic.twitter.com/slDcPwF7re
— Rich Scherr (@writerguyRich) November 15, 2018
In an interview with ABC, Scherr described the scene: ‘Everything just got really, really quiet. And then I heard this guy screaming: “Heil Hitler! Heil Trump!”‘
He added people began going towards the exits, and he feared gunshots might ring out next.
‘You don’t want to think the worst, but I was preparing to react in case of gunfire,’ he commented.
The suspect in the incident, Robert Bowers, allegedly spoke of killing Jews. He also pleaded not guilty at his hearing.
During intermission, security escorted the man out of the theater. Police also confirmed they responded to the incident, but no arrest was made.
‘Though reprehensible, the man’s words are considered protected free speech because he did not directly threaten anyone,’ said Baltimore Police spokesperson Matt Jablow.
A history that can’t be forgotten
Set in 1905, Fiddler on the Roof focuses on an Orthodox Jewish family in czarist Russia. With a book by Joseph Stein, the family must contend with demands from the Tsar to evict Jews, as well as their own personal struggles.
It is based on the Yiddish tales by Sholem Aleichem.
During the Holocaust in World War II, Nazi Germany murdered six million Jewish people. LGBTI people also lived and died in the various concentration camps.
A survey from earlier this year revealed there are gaps of knowledge surrounding the Holocaust in the US.
Despite this, several places around the world have memorials dedicated to the LGBTI victims of the Holocaust.