An artist's creation of gingerbread Nazis drew complaints after it was displayed in a hardware store window, prompting the store owner to demand the artwork be removed.

Charlie Palmer covered the gingerbread men during the weekend and said he wanted them out by of his business by Tuesday.

"He's gone way overboard this time," Palmer said of artist Keith McGuckin. "A few of his other displays were on the edge, but never that crazy."

McGuckin said he chose the subject to provoke thought, not to offend.

"I can differentiate between real Nazis and that the atrocities they performed compared to these little gingerbread men, but I guess some people can't," said McGuckin, 50.

Palmer left one of McGuckin's displays uncovered: a depiction of a suicidal snowman sitting under a hairdryer.

"I want people to say 'Oh, my gosh,"' McGuckin said. "And once they look at it, say: 'It is kind of pretty."'

Last winter, McGuckin used Palmer's window to display a "caroler-bashing" snowman and a little boy excited about using his chemistry set to create the illegal drug crystal meth.

McGuckin is searching for new display space in the town, home of Oberlin College and known for its left-leaning, beads-and-incense image.

"Maybe I just find beauty in bizarre places," he said.