VICTORIA’S Department of Education is investigating how Nazi memorabilia was allowed to be used by a staff member during a class at a high school on the Mornington Peninsula.
A replica of a cyanide canister used in gas chambers during the Holocaust was among a series of items presented to the class at Dromana Secondary College by staff member Mark White, who also brought in leftovers of a ‘Fuhrer cake’ he had baked, decorated with a Swastika made of apple slices.
Other items included a Nazi hat and a variety of replica weapons.
“I like to pass things around so the kids can feel history in their hands,” he said on Facebook after one class.
A Victoria Department of Education spokesperson said, “The actions of the Nazis were abhorrent and should not be forgotten by any generation.
“Using symbols or artefacts in a way that may normalise or trivialise the actions of the Nazis is completely unacceptable.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said, “We are shocked and heartbroken by this sickening abuse of power and troubling betrayal of the students’ trust.
“Students deserve better than this and we have failed them,” he continued, “The Holocaust, in which six million Jews and millions of others were systemically murdered, should not be the subject for funny games, entertainment and dress up.
“At a time when white-supremacist activities and antisemitism are on the rise in Australia, schools are supposed to be safe learning environments, not a place that puts the welcome mat for people who behave in such a way.
“We hope that the school apologises, conducts a thorough investigation, and ensures that such abhorrent actions do not recur. This is another example why we urgently need mandatory Holocaust education in Australia.”