The Premier of New South Wales Dominic Perrottet has apologized to the Australian Jewish community for wearing a Nazi uniform to his 21st birthday party.
Perrottet ,40, made the apology in a video to the Jewish community this week.
“I’m deeply ashamed of the fact that I did that,” he said. “I’m truly sorry for the hurt, pain and distress that that action will cause many people right across New South Wales and particularly our Jewish community, Holocaust survivors, and veterans and their families.”
“I’m truly sorry for that mistake. It was a grave error,” he added.
Writing in the Australian Jewish News, Perrottet addressed the Jewish community, explaining that he spoke this week publicly for the first time about the incident.
“There is no excuse for my actions,” he said. "While I can sincerely say they did not reflect in any way my attitude towards the Jewish community, they did demonstrate my naivety and insensitivity to the pain and trauma experienced by so many because of the vile ideology represented by that costume.”
He explained that he decided to publicly apologize in order to take full responsibility for his actions.
“With the benefit of many personal friendships and acquaintances, hearing people’s stories first hand, and deepening my understanding of history and the ongoing trauma caused by the Holocaust, I now look back on my decision in 2003 with shame,” he said.
“While I cannot change that decision, I am resolved to redouble my efforts to combat antisemitism and help young people to avoid making the same mistake I made.”
Perrottet noted that he has asked the NSW Board of Deputies to aid him in improving Holocaust education in the state.
“It is my hope that something good can come from this terrible mistake, and I am determined to continue to do everything I can to fight antisemitism and make NSW a safe and welcoming place for all who call it home,” he said.