Taiwan 'Nazi rally' school principal resigns

image copyrightEPA
image captionThe school will now hold a series of educational programmes

The principal of a Taiwanese school whose students held a mock Nazi rally for a Christmas parade has resigned.

Cheng Hsiao-ming, head of the Kuang Fu High School in Hsinchu, said he took "full responsibility" and apologised.

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 apologised.

Announcing his resignation, Mr 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."

image copyrightEPA
image captionStudents apparently thought it would be easy to convert school uniforms

He said the school would hold a series of educational programmes, 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 said.

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

image copyrightEPA
image captionSchool principal Cheng Hsiao-ming (R) and dean Liao Ching-lin apologise

After the images emerged, Asher Yarden, Israel's representative to Taiwan, 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 programmes which would introduce the meaning of the Holocaust and teach its history and universal meaning."

Taiwan's presidential office promptly apologised for the incident, saying it showed an extreme lack of respect for Jewish people and a profound ignorance of history.

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