Pupil apologises for ‘Heil Hitler’ chant

2017-05-29 19:51
Students pass a red rose at the Gleis 17 (Track 17) memorial at the train station Grunewald on the international Holocaust remembrance day in Berlin. (Markus Schreiber, AP, file)

Students pass a red rose at the Gleis 17 (Track 17) memorial at the train station Grunewald on the international Holocaust remembrance day in Berlin. (Markus Schreiber, AP, file)

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Johannesburg - One of the pupils who chanted anti-Semitic comments during an inter-school festival play about the Holocaust has expressed remorse, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies said on Monday.

The principals of the King David Victory Park High School, who preformed the play, and the unidentified Johannesburg school met to discuss the matter.

"During the meeting, it was confirmed that at least one learner had made offensive comments at the event, for which he had since expressed sincere remorse," the board’s national director, Wendy Kahn, said.

Kahn said the Johannesburg school's principal "unequivocally apologised" for any offence caused and had vowed to work with the board to educate his pupils and conduct sensitivity training. This would be done through the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre.

READ: Jewish Board to meet school after 'anti-Semitic' chants during school play

Comment from the said school was not immediately available.

During the festival on May 18, pupils from the high school allegedly chanted "Heil Hitler" during a play called The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which King David Victory Park pupils were performing.

At the time, Kahn said it was shocking that pupils could make such statements, despite there being Holocaust education in the curriculum.

"The majority of Jews in South Africa and around the world have in some way been touched by the Holocaust, through losing a family member or knowing someone who has lost a family member. This is something very worrying."

Kahn said she did not think the school was promoting such behaviour.

"But we need to find ways of the school educating and discouraging all forms of hatred, be it racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and all forms of hatred, particularly in the schooling system."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  genocide  |  racism

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