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The Schmooze

Austrian Bakery Makes Nazi Cakes

A group of Holocaust survivors is accusing an Austrian bakery of criminally bad taste.

The MKOe Mauthausen Committee has filed a complaint against Tortendesign, a bakery outside Vienna that frosts swastikas, SS symbols and babies giving the Nazi salute on its cakes. The designs violate Austrian laws that prohibit the display of Nazi symbols in public, the group alleges.

The committee’s call for tort reform — sorry! we couldn’t resist! — may fail, however, because Tortendesign does not show the symbols openly. Instead, the designs appear in a special “adult section” of its cake catalogue, in which customers can also find sex-themed cakes. “The question is whether a picture in a catalogue is ‘public display,’ ” a representative of the public prosecutor told Austrian media. “If it had been placed in the shop window, the matter would be much clearer.”

Legal details aside, The Shmooze is struck by the justification offered by cake chef Manfred Klaschka, who comes remarkably close to repeating that whole “just following orders” claim.

“If someone orders it, I make it,” Klaschka said of the designs. “I have to make a living.”

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