Shalom Life | June 19, 2014

Hitler Sympathizer to Open 'Nazi Art School' in Chile

"I don't mind if people tell me I'm a Nazi," says Godofredo Rodríguez Pacheco, whose named an art school after a far-right Chilean dictator and is promoting its opening with swastika posters

By: Daniel Koren

Published: March 25th, 2014 in News » World

An art school in the small Chilean town of Chiloé, named President General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte after a previous far-right Chilean dictator, is inciting controversy and sparking an outcry from Chile's Jewish community and political officials alike, the latter of whom have since opened up an investigation.

That is in part due to the proprietor of the school, Godofredo Rodríguez Pacheco, a known Hitler sympathizer who has described himself as a follower of the dictator's theories and legislation.

In anticipation of the school's opening, Pacheco has been promoting the event by hanging swastika flags and other such Nazi-related paraphernalia around the town of Ancúd.

“My ultimate goal is to form a political party, a nationalist proposal designed from Chiloé, and I don’t mind if people tell me I’m a Nazi,” Pacheco said to the told local press when asked about his agenda.

He added that he hopes to "strengthen the political right" in the region.

“The resources and infrastructure make us believe that this isn’t simply a case of one man talking to the media, but instead there may be greater coordination at work here and therefore we call for a thorough investigation,” refuted Deputy Gabriel Silber of the Christian Democrat party.

Despite Pacheco's allegiance to the far-right, Chiloé's deputy for center-right National Renewel Party, Alejandra Santana, stated that his party had no connection whatsoever to the controversial school.

“We don’t have any idea of who they are, or who is behind this so-called link with a Nazi school,” he said to the press.

As for the school, Pacheco has said that the current school system in place is wrong, as, "They don’t teach according to the Third Reich."

"I don’t defend them but history has to be told in another way, because there’s a lot of manipulation. If I talk about this in Europe they’ll put me in jail, but I’m not afraid,” he added.

The executive Director of Chile's Jewish Community, Marcelo Isaacson, sadly explained that the country needs to incorporate more laws to deter such behavior, or to prevent such institutions as this Nazi school from ever being established.

“The difference with Europe is that Chile lags behind on its regulation condemning these kind of activities. These Nazis hide themselves behind the right of freedom of expression,” he said.

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