Taiwan tells school to apologize to Israel over Nazi uniforms

Students were pictured wearing Nazi uniforms and waving swastika flags

Image of students appearing to wear costumes resembling Nazi uniforms posted by Facebook user Pixar Lu

        TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Presidential Office demanded a high school apologize to Israel Saturday after pictures emerged online of its students wearing Nazi uniforms and waving swastika flags.

        The photos were reportedly taken during a school celebration at the Kuang-fu High School in Hsinchu City. They showed at least a dozen students in black uniforms with swastika armbands, several of them holding Nazi flags and symbols. There was also one student who brought the stretched-armed Nazi salute from the top of a cardboard replica of a tank.

Image posted by Facebook user Pixar Lu

        The pictures came to light after the representative office of Israel found them and lodged a protest. Germany later also complained about the issue. The Presidential Office reacted Saturday afternoon by saying the incident showed an extreme lack of respect to the Jewish people and ignorance about recent history.

        The responsibility of the school should be determined, and it should understand and strengthen education on the subject, while also apologizing to relevant countries, the Presidential Office said. The Ministry of Education was reportedly planning to withdraw subsidies from the private school.

        The education system needs to teach students how peace and diversity do not come easily, while freedom needs to be based on the principles of justice and respect, according to a statement from the Presidential Office.

Image by Facebook user Pixar Lu

        The school later apologized, saying it had failed to do the necessary review beforehand. It promised such an incident would never happen again, while adding comments about understanding values and peace.

        Taiwan has been the scene of similar incidents in the past. An importer of German-made heaters once posted large ads at Taipei Mass Rapid Transit stations showing a smiling cartoon version of Adolf Hitler, while motorcycle helmets with Nazi symbols were once also fashionable.

        Taiwan was a colony of Nazi ally Japan during the Second World War.

Image by Facebook user Pixar Lu

Image posted by Facebook user Pixar Lu