Labor Union Figures: Hey, Let's Throw Some Mud
On Friday afternoon, more than a dozen union carpenters and organizers gathered at the Hofbrauhaus, the newly opened Bavarian beer hall across from the Hard Rock Hotel. The group, however, wasn't there to wet their whistles on Bavaria's finest lagers or to dine on the region's famous schnitzels and wursts. Instead, they spread out along the sidewalk in front of the building and distributed tabloid-style leaflets that claimed to offer"The secret history that Hofbrauhaus doesn't want you to know" and mock drink coasters that declared,"Welcome to the Hofbrauhaus, where the Nazi party got its start."
According to Daniel O'Shea, senior organizer for the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, the union's sudden historical concern was inspired by Hofbrauhaus' failure to meet area wage and benefit standards during the construction of the new building. In support of the demonstration, O'Shea offered solidarity letters from IG BAU--a German industrial union--and Jewish Defense League Director Bill Manianci, who described the original Munich Hofbrauhaus as the place where"Adolph Hitler began his reign of terror."
In a written response to the allegations, Hofbrauhaus managing partner Stefan Gastager maintained that the union's claims were"simply historically inaccurate.""Although history records that in his younger years Hitler spoke at the Hofbrauhaus, as did many political leaders long before and after Hitler, Hitler's Nationalist Party movement actually had its birthplace in the Burgerbrau Keller (Beer-hall)." Gastager also observed that the owners were born decades after Hitler's rule and that"Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas is 12 days old."