AMANA, Iowa — A national organization says there are three hate groups active in the state of Iowa, but people in one of those communities say the town shouldn’t be on that list.
“There is no hate group in the Amana Colonies,” said David Rettig of the Amana Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Despite assurances from officials in the Amana Colonies, the Southern Poverty Law Center lists it as an area of white supremacist activity. The group in question is called the Daily Stormer, which the SPLC says is affiliated with neo-Nazis.
Conversations on the website about the Amana Colonies show where members visited last year. They even talked about holding meetings in local restaurants.
When asked what he thought about the group holding meetings in the town, Rettig said, “I don’t know what to think about that. What the Amanas are about, forget their political ideology, people come to the Amanas every day, we want them to like it. There certainly have not been any Nazi rallies or neo-Nazi rallies in Amana or even talk about that. The whole thing has been a big surprise.”
The owner of the restaurant where The Daily Stormer club met says “people who promote hate are not welcome.”