The Presidential Office of Taiwan has demanded an apology to Germany and Israel after a local high school staged a mock Nazi rally Saturday, complete with Nazi uniforms, banners, and Hitler salutes.
The event, which was held by Hinschu City’s Kuang-fu High School, drew swift condemnation from German and Israeli officials after photos appeared on Facebook.
According to Times of Israel, Asher Yarden, the Israeli representative to Taiwan, described the event on Facebook as “deplorable,” saying it was “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.”
Yarden said called on Taiwanese officials to “initiate educational programs which would introduce the meaning of the Holocaust and teach its history and universal meaning.”
In a post on its official Facebook, the German Institute Taipei attributed the display to ignorance and a lack of understanding by the students regarding what the Nazi symbol stands for.
The Presidential Office of Taipiei also issued a condemnation, saying the event was “extremely disrespectful” to Jews who suffered during the Holocaust, and reflected basic ignorance about history.
“The responsibility of an education facility is to teach students that peace and diversity did not come easily,” the statement said. “The freedom of thinking should be based on justice and respect, rather than misconduct.”
According to Shanghaiist.com, the school issued an apology, saying that necessary reviews were not taken before the event, and promising that such an event would never be held in the future. Liu Hsi-Cheng, a teacher at the school, said the event was intended to celebrate the school’s founding, with each class intended to dress up as a historical figure. Liu’s class chose Adolf Hitler, despite Liu’s warnings. Focus Taiwan reported that in hindsight, Liu acknowledged that he should have “immediately rejected (the decision) on the spot.”