Photographer: Photo in Which Wisconsin Boys Appear to Give Nazi Salute was Innocent

November 13, 2018 09:39 AM

A parent who took a photo that shows about 60 Wisconsin high school boys giving what appears to be a Nazi salute says he simply asked the youths to wave goodbye to their parents and that he takes the blame for the timing of the shot.

Pete Gust, whose son Matthew appears in the photo, says there was no intention "in any way, shape or form to simulate anything that was offensive to anyone."


Gust tells The Associated Press that the boys' arms were extended in various stages of being raised when the shot was taken.

Gust posted the photo on his website, Wheels Memories, after he took the pre-prom shot on the steps of the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo in May. Downtown Baraboo is about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northwest of Milwaukee.

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Gust has removed the photo from his website, and wrote "To anyone that was hurt I sincerely apologize."

The Baraboo School District and police are investigating the photo.

The pre-prom photo of the boys taken on the steps of the courthouse has been shared widely on social media in recent days, prompting a strong rebuke from individuals and organizations.

One attendee, Greg Sacra, told the board he grew up knowing that Nazism was wrong and that he doesn't understand how the Baraboo students in the photo don't know that too. He suggests they need extra education about the Holocaust.

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The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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