School in Taiwan is condemned after students waved Nazi flags & shouted 'Sieg Heil' w/ their teacher stood in a cardboard tank saluting them pic.twitter.com/83QYqmKF0U— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) December 25, 2016
A high school parade in Taiwan sparked outrage after pictures showing its students in Nazi uniforms holding swastika banners went viral.
The incident took place at Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School in Western Taiwan, where at least a dozen students showed up to a cultural event dressed up as Nazi soldiers, wearing red swastika armbands and waving Nazi flags while shouting "Sieg Heil!"
Another student was pictured standing inside a cardboard tank, saluting fellow students.
Although the school later apologized for its (colossal) mistake, explaining that it failed to review the event beforehand and does not condone Nazism, the damage had already been done.
The photos immediately drew ire from Israeli and German officials, who issued a statement calling the mock parade “tasteless” and “shocking.”
“It is deplorable and shocking that seven decades only after the world had witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust, a high school in Taiwan is supporting such an outrageous action as we witnessed yesterday at Hsinchu Kuang Fu Senior High School,” Israeli representative to Taiwan, Asher Yarden, said in a statement. “We strongly condemn this tasteless occurrence and call on the Taiwanese authorities, in all levels, to initiate educational programs which would introduce the meaning of the Holocaust and teach its history and universal meaning.”
Very dangerous. The professor in Taiwan with his disciples similar military parade Nazi leader Hitler shows with this anti-Semitic pic.twitter.com/vSkPkw1cKt— Fadi Safardim (@FSafardim) December 25, 2016
The German Institute in Taipei also condemned the incident.
“Sadly, the students clearly do not understand that the Nazi symbol stands for disregard for human rights and oppression,” a representative said.
Meanwhile, the country’s Presidential Office ordered an investigation into the incident, calling it “regrettable” and “disappointing.” Education Minister Pan Wen-chung also apologized, ordering the school officials to teach pupils about modern history.
“We feel it is extremely disrespectful to the Jewish people who had been victims of the oppression perpetrated during wars, but more importantly, it highlighted ignorance about history,” the Presidential Office said in a statement. “The responsibility of an education facility is to teach students that peace and diversity did not come easily. The freedom of thinking should be based on justice and respect, rather than misconduct.”
Apparently, each class had to dress up as historical figure and history teacher Liu Hsi-cheng's class chose Adolf Hitler.
Liu expressed remorse over the incident and said his students deeply regret their actions. He also believes they should all be held responsible, since it was their collective decision to dress up as Nazi soldiers.
While the students are to blame as well, the question is, why didn’t any school official put a stop to this madness when kids showed up in Nazi uniforms?
Thumbnail Credit: Reuters