In Thailand, a Hitler banner caused confusion and controversy, prompting an apology. The banner, which was displayed at Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University, was a tribute to the class of 2013.
The large banner, which was created by students, was displayed on the outside of the university’s art building. It included the word “congratulations” and featured pictures of numerous superheroes, including Iron Man, Batman, and Captain America.
As reported by ABC News, an unlikely “hero” was also painted on the banner. A picture of Hitler was included among the heroes, posing in Nazi salute.
Art school Dean Suppakorn Disatapundhu issued a formal apology to those who were offended. He explains why Hitler was included in the painting:
“They told me the concept was to paint a picture of superheroes who protect the world… Hitler was supposed to serve as a conceptual paradox to the superheroes… This kind of thoughtless display will not happen again.”
The dean points out that while the other superheroes are all painted in bright colors, Hitler is depicted in varying shades of grey and black.
As reported by International Digital Times, members of the Simon Wiesenthal Center were outraged about Thailand’s Hitler banner. Speaking on behalf of the center, Rabbi Abraham Cooper explains that they are “disgusted by [the] public display at a leading school of higher education.”
Cooper contends that lack of education about the Holocaust may have led students to underestimate the offensive nature of the banner.
Artistic banners were placed throughout the University campus as part of an ongoing tradition. They are made by incoming students to honor the graduating class.
School officials discussed the offending banner with the students who painted it. They assert that there was no intent to offend anyone, or to portray Hitler as a hero.
The Thailand Hitler banner has been removed from the building following complaints. School officials state that they will carefully screen future banners for offensive material.
***Picture of the actual banner: Here
[Image via Flickr]