Shalom Life | April 17, 2014

Nazi-Themed Parade at Thai School Causes Outrage

The Sacred Heart School apologized for the incident.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: September 29th, 2011 in News » World

Nazi-Themed Parade at Thai School Causes Outrage
A catholic school in Chiang Mai, Thailand is facing condemnation after students in a sports day parade clad themselves in Nazi attire, and waved swastika flags. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a Jewish human rights organization, decried the event.

"It is difficult to calculate the hurt such a display inflicted on survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and the families of all victims of Nazism. There can be no justification for such an outrage to emanate from place of learning," Cooper stated.

The rabbi also sited a similar parade that took place at a Bangkok school in 2007.

Subsequently, a Thai government official stated that it was never the students’ intention to cause offence.

"The school officially explained that it was an internal sports day and students who were in the red team wanted to give a surprise by using swastikas as the background since it's the colour red. Both students and the school expressed their regret and apologized. I've instructed all schools to be more careful about this kind of issue and to use it as a lesson,” said Charnwit Tupsuphan, secretary of the Private Education Commission.

"I think that really it was done out of ignorance, not out of bad intentions. Many people here in Asia are not aware of what happened in Europe. They tend to think that he (Hitler) was a hero and not a monster as he really was, so I think it is important to strengthen the educational level," explained Itzhak Shoham, Israeli ambassador to Thailand.

The Sacred Heart School has now issued a letter of apology for the incident on its website.
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