News24

Thai school under fire over Nazi parade

2011-09-28 11:01

Bangkok - A Catholic school in Thailand has apologised after students dressed up as Nazis for a sports day parade, drawing condemnation from Jewish rights campaigners.

Photos released by the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre appear to show red banners with swastikas as well as smiling students wearing Nazi uniforms or saluting, some with swastikas painted on their faces.

A government official said on Wednesday that, according to the Sacred Heart College in the northern city of Chiang Mai, the parade was organised by the students, who had not intended 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," said Charnwit Tupsuphan, secretary of the Private Education Commission, a government body.

"Both students and the school expressed their regret and apologised," he added. "I've instructed all schools to be more careful about this kind of issue and to use it as a lesson."

The Israeli embassy said it had received a letter of apology after contacting the school.

"I think that really it was done out of ignorance, not out of bad intentions," Itzhak Shoham, the Israeli ambassador to Thailand, told AFP.

"Many people here in Asia are not aware of what happened in Europe," he added. "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."

In a statement on its website, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre called for "immediate action against all those responsible for promoting and facilitating this disgraceful display", noting that a similar incident had taken place at another school in Bangkok in 2007.

"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," it said.

The school could not immediately be reached for comment.

Comments
  • Fhatuwani - 2011-09-28 11:31

    I hope it becomes a taboo and a punishable offence to make a joke out of the Apartheid holocaust. History always presents the Jewish Holocaust as the biggest attrocity committed to human kind thereby downgrading the wrath of the apartheid on Blacks. As much as Jews have made it a point that they do not erase the memory which constitutes part of their history as a people. I still hold the same views that struggle songs that preserves and promotes must continue to be part of the memory as Black people.

      soofie habib - 2011-09-28 11:37

      Your suggestion is unrelated to the Holocast Besides blacks prospered under apartheid, although deprived of the vote - they were fat well fed happy, no crime and had better health care and jobs than the mess the majority are in now!

      tim - 2011-09-28 11:45

      Not quite sure how one will depict apartheid? Not even sure if you can relate apartheid (which was discrimination against blacks) to the holocaust (which was mass extermination of jews). The objectives of these two wicked policies were different, i.e. mass discrimination vs mass extermination

      stephen scott - 2011-09-28 11:49

      Your weren’t genocided, you were spoon fed, under apartheid, now the spoon is gone; many of you are going to starve to death.

      Johan van Zyl - 2011-09-28 12:06

      Are you referring to blacks killing blacks during apartheid?

      Psalm - 2011-09-28 12:12

      @ Soofie habib Tell that to the children who were rendered fatherless by the Apartheid regime, to the children who shot and killed in Sharpville, to ALL the Blacks who could not hold certain jobs and certain positions under Apartheid (but perhaps your silly mind thinks that this is "prosperity")... Go share your silly views with those who rightly call Apartheid a "crime against humanity". Clearly only someone lacking any sense of moral judgment would even utter that victims of crimes against humanity were "prospering" under such a crime. Presumably those forcibly removed from their lands and homes were "fortunate". Better healthcare? Where? In rural areas were they did not even have mobile clinics? Whatever is next from you? The claim that Jews under Hitler "prospered" under the free housing scheme in concentration camps? They were even guaranteed jobs as slave labour. You must consider them "fortunate". You and your type (lacking all sense of humanity) are a blight on humankind.

      daaivark - 2011-09-28 14:05

      Wow, soofie: "blacks prospered under apartheid".... That's new to me. I think millions here would disagree.

      daaivark - 2011-09-28 14:06

      @stephen scott. Where on earth do you get that drivel from?

      FengaPapit - 2011-09-28 14:57

      Always, you take a foreign affair and it becomes about Apartheid... maybe in 2099 we would be able to examine an international affair at hand without jumping into the white and black, tired story, I think its sad that you would belittle the tradgedy of extermination of millions of people with comparing it with the struggle for rights that has no relevance. The fact is; what happened in Thailand was incencitive... take off the blinkers that make you deterimental to our country and approach affairs with a clean plate and interest, not an excuse to regurgitate an issue which is actually irrelelvant... Below facts: 21,000 people died in political violence in South Africa during apartheid - of whom 14,000 people died during the six-year transition process from 1990 to 1994. and somehow that is comparitive with mass murder: The Holocaust: the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others[3] during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, throughout Nazi-occupied territory.[4] Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds perished.[5] More than one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men. I wish we could all consider a topic as the actual topic without the chip on the shoulder..

      sardonicus - 2011-09-28 15:05

      If you had to weigh up the sheer inhumanity shown to the Jews during the holocast, if you read about how ordinary families were systematically wiped out in the cruelest most inhumane way, I guess the holocast is significantly worse than apartheid. Not to say apartheid was anything nice, no one can ever say it was pleasant for the majority of SOuth Africans. Apartheid did however last longer than the holocast, but please do yourself a favour and read about how the Nazis slaved, gassed and shot outrageous amounts of people. Nobody deserves either.

  • j4truth - 2011-09-28 11:43

    The same spirit that was in HITLER is alive and operating in the majority of the world today . .including the UN, 'palestinians' and Muslims. What the World needs to know is they will be judged by God for the way they treated the Jews! Viva ISRAEL!

      sardonicus - 2011-09-28 15:12

      I ask you where was Yahweh when the Holocaust was going on? Was he playing golf in heaven because let me tell you a thing or two, your useless so called god of israel did sh*t while the nazis were wiping y'all out. If it wasn't for the brave men and women who hailed from all over the world, gave their lives to save the Jewish and other oppressed people, then can we give credit to that useless excuse of a god? Give thanks for your protection to the watchdogs of the night, who keep all the hungry wolves at bay and kee them out of sight!

      Messenger - 2011-09-28 16:09

      @sardonicus With respect, how is a human being supposed to answer that question?

      sardonicus - 2011-09-28 18:01

      Happy Rosh Hoshana! Well Messenger, as you call yourself, Moses rocked up the last time the Hebrews found themselves enslaved in Egypt, Cyrus the great liberated the hebrews from slavery in Babylon, and if Holocaust > (Egyptian Slavery + Babylonian Captivity) I'd say Yahweh could have done a little better, don't you think?

  • Kurt Schaetzing - 2011-09-28 11:46

    umm....Fhatuwani... the Holocaust and Apartheid are two different things... As for struggle songs, "shoot the Boer" does not promote anything besides racism and hate. Besides, where do you think your veggies in PnP come from? Duh! A better choice would be Gloria Gaynor " I will survive" Don't you think?

  • stephen scott - 2011-09-28 11:46

    Makes sense, hitler was a catholic, big chummies with the pope and the Italians.

      stephen scott - 2011-09-28 12:44

      Strong links between the Nazi's and the Catholics, check out a documentary on you tube called "Nazi's the occult connection", actually the Nazi's were only the second most f%$ked minds in history.

      daaivark - 2011-09-28 14:12

      Alas Stephen, I think you are unwell. Since when was Hitler Catholic, even if the remark made sense in any other way, which it doesn't. According to Wiki (I just haven't the time or inclination to dig deeper): "Adolf Hitler's religious views are a matter of some dispute. While raised by a skeptic father and a Catholic mother, after childhood, he ceased to participate in the Sacraments completely. He sometimes made public statements which seemed to affirm religion (which suited his political purposes) and prior to 1940 had promoted a "positive Christianity", purged of Judaism and instilled with Nazi philosophy, but in private was hostile to Christianity and had a plan to destroy it after the war. The degree to which he participated in and was influenced by the racist occultism, paganism and esotericism which was popular in late 19th, early 20th century Germany is also a matter of dispute."

  • maceye - 2011-09-28 11:59

    I can't wait for the crazies to crawl out of the woodwork, blaming this on catholicism.

  • Bells Bells - 2011-09-28 13:01

    Fhatuwani: jy is regtig 'n onnosel bliksem!

  • Prime_Evil - 2011-09-28 13:47

    You think there is safety in numbers, do you? Tell that to 6 million Jews. HAHAHAHA. There is a hardware store just round the corner go get some supplies, build a bridge and get over yourselves. FAAAK politically correctness!

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