Taiwanese school principal resigns over mock Nazi rally

Principal of Taiwanese school resigns after students hold a mock Nazi rally on Christmas, raising the ire of the Israeli delegation.

Ben Ariel,

Flag of Taiwan
Flag of Taiwan

The principal of a Taiwanese school has resigned after students in the school held a mock Nazi rally for a Christmas parade, raising the ire of the Israeli delegation to Taiwan.

Cheng Hsiao-ming, head of the Kuang Fu High School in Hsinchu, said he took "full responsibility" and apologized for the incident, the BBC reported.

Friday's "rally" featured a parade of swastika banners and a cardboard tank carrying one student performing a Nazi salute.

Israel's representative called the event "deplorable" and Taiwan's presidential office has apologized for the incident, according to the BBC.

In announcing his resignation, Cheng said, "As educators, we should have taught students to have the right values. We will learn from the mistakes we made and have asked students to do so, too."

He said the school would hold a series of educational programs, including showing films about the Holocaust such as Schindler's List and Life is Beautiful.

The Israel Economic and Cultural Office would also be invited to address students, he added.

The Taipei Times had reported that one of the school's teachers, Liu Hsi-cheng, had suggested Arabic culture as the theme for the parade but the students decided to go with Adolf Hitler after two rounds of voting.

The paper further said some students opted for the Nazis for the Christmas and Thanksgiving Costume Parade because they could easily convert their school uniforms.

After the images emerged, Israel's representative to Taiwan Asher Yarden wrote on the mission's Facebook page: "It is deplorable and 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.

"We strongly condemn this tasteless occurrence and call on the Taiwanese authorities, in all levels, to initiate educational programs which would introduce the meaning of the Holocaust and teach its history and universal meaning," he added.

Several months ago, a firestorm arose after a Japanese girl band performed in military-style costumes resembling Nazi uniforms.

Teeny-boppers Keyakizaka46 had sparked anger with their black one-piece dresses and capes, complete with peaked caps bearing a golden bird symbol resembling the Nazi eagle above a swastika, donned at a Halloween concert in Yokohama on October 22.

Sony Music and the producer behind the band apologized for the incident after the Simon Wiesenthal Center's associate dean said the display was "inappropriate and deeply offensive".