Representatives from a high school in Hsinchu City on Friday paid a visit to the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei to apologize after a campus event featuring students wearing Nazi costumes and displaying swastikas sparked a public outcry.
The cosplay event took place on Dec. 23, as part of Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School’s activities to celebrate the school’s foundation day. The ensuing public outcry resulted in the resignation of school principal Cheng Hsiao-ming (程曉銘).
Israeli Representative Asher Yarden listened to the students’ apology and explanation, and said he forgave them and looked forward to future opportunities for educational exchanges with the school, the office said.
He also accepted a poster made by the students, which took the symbol of the Israeli office as its center, with the students’ personal reflections on the incident written on leaves surrounding it.
Cheng, who led the students to the Israeli office as his final act before resigning, also invited the office’s staff to visit the school and speak to staff and students there.
Yarden agreed to the invitation and presented Cheng with a Chinese-language book on Judaism, saying he hoped the book would help the school’s staff and students remember the Holocaust and its implications for all of humankind.
Yarden also presented the students with an illustrated book about Ho Feng-shan (何鳳山), a Chinese diplomat who risked his own life and career to save the lives of 3,000 Jews while he was stationed in Vienna during World War II.
He added that if the world had more people like Ho Feng-shan, it would be an even better place.
The school said it would supplement its curricula with materials provided by the Israeli office, and participate in seminars and book readings to improve understanding of the Holocaust at the school.
Additional reporting by CNA
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