Students at a private high school in Hsinchu City yesterday sparked outrage after photographs of them in Nazi costumes at a cosplay event a day earlier went viral on the Internet.
Photos of a class at Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School wearing costumes resembling Nazi uniforms and carrying swastika banners were shared on Professional Technology Temple (PTT), the nation’s largest online academic bulletin board, triggering an outcry from representative offices, government officials and netizens, with some saying the incident yet again showed Taiwan’s ignorance of international affairs.
A photo among those that were previously posted to Facebook showed students dressed as Nazi soldiers standing in formation, while another one showed a student riding in a tank made of cardboard boxes and performing a Nazi salute.
Photo: Screengrab from Facebook
The Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei issued a statement criticizing the event.
“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 as we witnessed yesterday at Hsinchu Kuang Fu Senior High School,” Israeli Representative to Taiwan Asher Yarden wrote on the mission’s Facebook page. “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.”
The German Institute Taipei also issued a statement on Facebook.
“Sadly, the students clearly do not understand that the Nazi symbol stands for disregard for human rights and oppression,” it said.
The Presidential Office said the incident was “regrettable” and “disappointing.”
“We feel it is extremely disrespectful to the Jewish people who had been victims of the oppression perpetrated during wars, but more importantly, it highlighted ignorance about history,” the Presidential Office said in a statement. “The responsibility of an education facility is to teach students that peace and diversity did not come easily. The freedom of thinking should be based on justice and respect, rather than misconduct.”
“Education authorities should require the school to shoulder responsibility by seriously reflecting on the incident, understand and improve education in related fields of study and apologize to the countries it offended,” it added.
The Ministry of Education expressed “astonishment and regret,” while Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) apologized over the incident, urging all schools in Taiwan to learn a lesson from the incident.
The ministry said it would visit the school to look into the incident, assist in improving education programs and would punish the school over an “administrative negligence of duty.”
The ministry would also cut subsidies for the school, it said.
Netizens on PTT also expressed outrage.
“No wonder Taiwan is ranked the third-most ignorant country in the world,” a netizen said, an apparent reference to results of this year’s Perils of Perception Survey by UK-based market research organization Ipsos MORI, which ranked Taiwan third on an “ignorance index” after India and China.
“It is incredible that no teachers prevented the incident,” another netizen said.
The school later yesterday apologized for the incident.
The school said it failed to carefully review the students’ plans for the event, but added that it does not support the violence committed by the Nazis.
The school said it assumed responsibility for the students’ improper behavior, adding that it would improve its standards and help students to gain a broader global view.
Additional reporting by CNA
PROTECTION: The New Taipei City mayor said a pass could cover stores, but not eateries, while Ko Wen-je said vaccinated people could be exempted from some rules Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) on Saturday proposed implementing a “COVID-19 pass” regulation that would allow only vaccinated people into certain areas. New Taipei City is planning to require a “COVID-19 pass” for entry to “vulnerable spaces” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hou said. Non-students entering elementary schools in New Taipei City are required to show their COVID-19 vaccination cards or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. This is for the protection of students under the age of 12, who are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, city officials have said. The
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they
LAWMAKERS RALLY: Beijing’s unlegislated actions breach international and WTO trade rules, and affect the basic principles of the EU single market, the letter said A group of 41 EU lawmakers on Tuesday condemned China for its political and economic coercion of Lithuania, and called on leaders of the bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Vilnius. The letter was initiated by Slovakian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Miriam Lexmann, who is cochair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. “We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, resolutely condemn political and economic coercion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) against Lithuania,” the letter said. The letter addressed European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and
BRIBES FOR VOTES: A probe found that funding for the scheme came from Huang Daonian, director of the Economic Bureau at Changsha City’s Taiwan Affairs Office Five Taiwanese businesspeople working in China were yesterday found guilty of taking money from Chinese authorities to buy votes for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in the 2020 presidential election. The Taipei District Court sentenced Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises (台灣同胞投資企業協會) Changsha City Branch chairman Lin Huai (林懷) to three years and 10 months in jail, with deprivation of his civil rights for four years. The other four convicted in the case, who all received 20-month prison terms, were China New Family Association (中華兩岸新家庭協會) chairwoman Chiang Ming-sia (蔣明霞), Hunan Shaoyang City Association in Taiwan (湖南邵陽旅台同鄉會) director Chang Kuo-chun (張國君),