JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Romanian mayor apologized for dressing up as a Nazi officer.
Radu Mazare of Constana, a Black Sea port city, said in a letter released Thursday that he regretted offending people when he dressed up in a German World War II uniform and goose-stepped across the stage with his 15-year-old son during a fashion show Sunday at a Black Sea resort.
A swastika adorned the belt of the uniform.
"I want to present my apologies to all those who were upset or offended by my appearance," Mazare said in the letter, The Associated Press reported.
Mazare goes on, "I said then that I do not share the Nazi ideology, on the contrary I appreciate those who wanted to assassinate the mad dictator. I do not share or espouse nationalist, fascist or anti-Semitic ideas."
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel called on the mayor to resign.
The Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism filed a complaint Monday with the country’s general prosecutor, Reuters reported.
Wearing a Nazi uniform is illegal in Romania, as is the display of swastikas, which is punishable by up to three years in prison, according to reports.