Students dressed as Nazis at a Chiang Mai school's sports day festival has drawn an angry reaction both here and abroad.
Students dressed as Nazi SS guards with swastika armbands walk in a parade to mark a sports day last Friday at the Sacred Heart Preparatory School in Chiang Mai’s Muang district. The parade drew an angry public response and the school has apologised.
Nazi-themed sports march sparks outrage
School kids dressed as Hitler, SS guards
A Jewish human rights organisation has called on Thai Christian leaders to condemn the Nazi-themed parade at the Sacred Heart Preparatory School in Chiang Mai where students were seen dressed up as Adolf Hitler and SS guards doing "seig heil" salutes.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights group based in Los Angeles, issued a statement on Monday denouncing an event it said was "glorifying Nazis".
Images of the event show a girl dressed up as Adolf Hitler, complete with a toothbrush moustache, leading a parade consisting of youngsters carrying a Swastika flag and another group dressed up in Nazi uniforms with plastic guns to complete the look.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, insisted that from the visuals, it was clear that this Nazi celebration could not have taken place without the knowledge and cooperation of the school administration.
Rabbi Cooper called on the school to take immediate action against people responsible for "promoting and facilitating this disgraceful display".
"It is difficult to calculate the hurt such a display inflicted on survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and the families of all victims of Nazism. There can be no justification for such an outrage to emanate from a place of learning," he said.
Rabbi Cooper, a frequent visitor to Asia, added that a similar parade took place in 2007 at a school in Bangkok involving 200 students and, more recently, Thai rock band Slur donned Nazi regalia in a music video.
British Embassy in Thailand spokeswoman Kim Clarke only confirmed that a group of honorary consuls went to the school to seek an explanation about the event.
Yesterday, Sacred Heart College Chiang Mai expressed its deep apologies for its pupils dressing up in the Nazi outfits and marching in the event.
Chanwit Tubsuphan, secretary-general of the Office of the Private Education Commission (Opec), said the director of Sacred Heart College in Chiang Mai had expressed regret and apologised for the incident.
The event was harshly criticised after photographs taken on the sports day were posted online.
The commission ordered the Chiang Mai Educational Service Area which supervises the school to look into the case and the Chiang Mai education unit reported later that the school's teachers were not informed about the students' theme for the sports day event prior to it taking place, Mr Chanwit said.
The students also did not realise that using the Nazi theme had any sensitive or negative implications.
"The students feel alarmed by the response, as they had no intention to express any hidden agenda and the teachers are sorry for what their students did," Mr Chanwit said.
Traditionally, the students wear fancy dress in the parade on sports day and the theme is kept a secret until the day itself, with the most recent one held last Friday.
"So, the teachers were not informed about the plan," he explained.
The secretary-general said the school will send a letter to explain and clarify the event to the Opec soon.
"It happened because the students were unaware and I have asked the school to make sure they are more careful [in future]."
Mr Chanwit said lessons on the history of World War II have already been provided to the children and it was one of eight core subjects in social sciences designed by the Education Ministry.
The Bangkok Post tried to call the school principal to discuss the Nazi theme controversy yesterday but a school staff member would not put the principal on the phone.
The staff member only said it was a sports day and the event's theme was managed by the students.
swastika – an ancient symbol in the form of a cross with its ends bent at an angle of 90°, used in the 20th century as the symbol of the German Nazi party เครื่องหมายนาซี, สัญลักษณ์สวัสดิ
mark – to celebrate something เพื่อเฉลิมฉลอง
public –intended to be seen or heard by people in general อย่างเปิดเผยให้รู้
response – a reaction to something that has happened or been said การตอบสนอง
apologise – to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for cause a problem ขอโทษ
theme – the main subject of something ใจความสำคัญ, ประเด็นหลัก
spark – to make something happen, especially something bad ก่อให้เกิด
outrage – extreme anger ความโกรธอย่างรุนแรง
condemn – to criticise something or someone strongly ประนาม
seig heil salute – the Nazi salute in which a person hold out one arm to the front
issue – to announce something officially ออกประกาศ
denounce – to criticise someone or something severely in public ประณาม, ติเตียน
glorify – to make something seem better or more important than it really is ยกย่อง, สรรเสริญ
image – a photograph, painting, or other work of art that represents a person or thing รูปภาพ
moustache – a line of hair that a man allows to grow on his upper lip หนวด
consist – to be made of or formed from something ประกอบด้วย
dean – a senior official at a college or university or similar organisation, often the head of a faculty or department คณบดี
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
visual – a picture, map, piece of film, etc. used to make an article or a talk easier to understand or more interesting ภาพ
cooperation – a situation in which people or organisations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them การร่วมมือกัน
administration – the people who plan, organize and run a business, an institution, etc คณะบริหาร
immediate – happening or done now, without any delay ทันทีทันใด
facilitate – to make it possible or easier for something to happen ทำให้สะดวกขึ้น
disgraceful – extremely bad or shocking น่าสยดสยอง
display – a performance that is intended to entertain people การแสดง
calculate – to discover a number or amount using mathematics คำนวน
inflict – to force someone to experience something very unpleasant สร้างความเจ็บปวด
survivor – someone who still exists after an event that could have killed or destroyed them ผู้รอดชีวิต
holocaust – a situation in which many things are destroyed and many people killed, especially because of a war or a fire การสังหารหมู่, การทำลายล้างซึ่งส่งผลให้ผู้คนตายเป็นจำนวนมาก
the Holocaust – the killing of millions of Jews by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s
victim – someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
justification – a good reason or explanation for something
outrage – an act or event that is violent, cruel or very wrong and that shocks people or makes them very angry การกระทำที่โหดเหี้ยม
emanate – to come from something or somewhere ปรากฎ,กำเนิด
frequent – happening often เกิดขึ้นบ่อย
don – to put on a piece of clothing ใส่เสื้อ
regalia – special clothes that you wear for a ceremony or official occasion เครื่องหมายหรือเสื้อผ้าแสดงตำแหน่ง ยศหรือขั้น
honorary – given as an honour, without the person having to have the usual qualifications; not paid ซึ่งให้เพื่อเป็นเกียรติ; กิตติมศักดิ์
consul – an official chosen by a government to live in a foreign city, in order to take care of people from the official's own country who travel or live there, and to protect the trade interests of that government กงสุล
outfit – a set of clothes that are worn together เครื่องแต่งกาย
regret – a feeling of sadness about something sad or wrong or about a mistake that you have made, and a wish that it could have been different and better ความโทมนัส,ความเสียใจ,ความเศร้าโศก
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
harsh – strict, unkind and sometimes unfair อย่างรุนแรง
criticise – to say that you disapprove of somebody/something; to say what you do not like or think is wrong about somebody/something วิจารณ์, ติเตียน,จับผิด
supervise – to be in charge of an activity and to check that everything is being done correctly ดูแล ควบคุม
prior to – before ก่อนหน้า
sensitive – needed to be dealt with very carefully to not cause anger or offence ที่ละเอียดอ่อน
negative – bad ที่เป็นด้านลบ
implication – the effect that an action or decision will have on something else in the future การเกี่ยวพัน,ความหมาย,ความเกี่ยวข้อง
alarmed – worried or frightened that something unpleasant or dangerous might happen รู้สึกตระหนก กังวล
intention – a plan in your mind to do something ความตั้งใจ เจตนา
hidden agenda – a secret reason for doing something because you will get an advantage from it เบื้องหน้าเบื้องหลัง
traditionally – of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time ตามธรรมเนียม, ประเพณี ดั้งเดิม ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา
clarify – to make clear ทำให้ชัดแจ้ง
unaware – not understanding or realising something ซึ่งไม่รู้ตัวมาก่อน
core – the most important or most basic part of something ที่สำคัญที่สุด
principal – the person who is in charge of a school, college or a university ผู้อำนวยการ,ครูใหญ่,อธิการบดี
controversy – a disagreement, especially about a public policy or a moral issue that a lot of people have strong feelings about ความขัดแย้ง