The Christmas Market in the Bavarian town of Mühldorf will be missing some Christmas cheer this year as Santa went on the naughty list and got the boot for writing a post on Facebook where he took a stance against child marriage.
Santa went on the naughty list
Peter Mück had been working as Santa at the market for 30 years, listening to kids wishes and distributing treats for those who were good boys and girls. So when he took to Facebook to show his support for protecting the very same children he brought smiles to every Christmas season, getting fired for it was the last thing on his mind.
Marianne Zollner, the mayor of Mühldorf, saw it not as a protection against child abuse, but as a link to the far-right Identitarian Movement that campaigns against Islamic immigration and openly supports racism.
“this attitude was not compatible with the work of portraying Santa”
After seeing the post, Zollner says she “explained to him that this movement, in my view, does not respect the equality and dignity of all people, or our democratic values, and that this attitude was not compatible with the work of portraying Santa Claus.”
Mück has denied any connection to the group, and says his comment which he posted under one of the group’s photos was an innocent act in which he wanted to express his feelings against child marriages. “I should have been better informed about the Identitarian Movement, but I have nothing to do with them,” he wrote in response to the allegations.“I have never acted in thought, word or deed against the free democratic constitution.”
The situation may have been an unfortunate misunderstanding, but for Mück the damage is already done. Even if Zollner apologizes for the rash decision, Mück has stated that he would not return to the post he held for 30 years.