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Taipei Apologizes Over Summer Camp Nazi Photo Gaffe

A Taipei government summer “battle camp” photo ad has ignited a real explosion; it featured three young males dressed as Nazis.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/10/2011, 11:52 PM / Last Update: 7/11/2011, 2:39 AM

A Taipei government photo advertising a summer “battle camp” turned out to be more incendiary than organizers realized.

The photo featured three young male students dressed in full Nazi uniforms at a camp organized by the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

Taiwan Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Yang formally apologized Friday over the photo to Simona Halperin, director of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and Israel's representative to Taiwan.

Halperin responded that although she was shocked, she believed it was an innocent mistake of an expression of support by the government for the Nazi genocide of the Jews.

The photo, released July 4, was pulled as soon as the faux pas was noticed and MND spokesman Lo Shao-ho publicly expressed regret at a hastily-organized news conference Thursday.

Meanwhile, lawmakers from one end of the political spectrum to the other called on the MND to punish the military officers responsible for posting the photo on the officials website, and for not blocking students dressed as Nazis from entering the military barracks.