Aus­tralian school in­ves­ti­gated after Nazi cake and replica firearms brought to class

The Guardian Australia - - News - Luke Hen­riques-Gomes

Vic­to­ria’s ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing after a state school em­ployee brought a “Fuhrer cake” into a his­tory class and let his stu­dents play with replica firearms and other Nazi para­pher­na­lia.

Face­book posts pro­vided to the Anti-Defama­tion Com­mis­sion by a mem­ber of the pub­lic show one student at Dro­mana sec­ondary col­lege wear­ing a Nazi hat, and oth­ers play­ing with replica weapons – in­clud­ing a Zyk­lon B poi­son gas can­is­ter used in the Holo­caust – dur­ing a se­cond world war his­tory class.

The posts sug­gest the em­ployee – who was not a teacher at the school – had brought in items from his own per­sonal col­lec­tion. The man was a mem­ber of a Face­book group that trades mil­i­tary items, ac­cord­ing to Fair­fax Me­dia, which first re­ported the story.

Stu­dents are also shown pos­ing with ri­fles, hel­mets and uni­forms used by Aus­tralian troops. In one Face­book post, the em­ployee de­scribes mak­ing a “Fuhrer cake” after watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary about Hitler’s maid.

“I’ll take a photo later to show how it turns out, if I start talk­ing in Ger­man and grow­ing a lit­tle mous­tache un­der my nose after eat­ing it i’ll put out a warn­ing!” he wrote.

He then posted a pic­ture of the cake, which was dec­o­rated with a swastika made out of ap­ple slices, be­fore later writ­ing he had “brought in the rest of the Fuhrer cake I made sat night (into class), so we talked war and ate cake”.

“I did a bit of artis­tic li­cence on the look but I’m re­ally pleased it was bril­liant with cream driz­zled on it,” he added. “No won­der it was Hitler’s favourite cake.”

Fair­fax re­ported that the swastika was not vis­i­ble when the left­over cake was brought into the class.

A de­part­ment spokes­woman con­firmed an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the use of “some in­ap­pro­pri­ate items” at the school, one hour south of Mel­bourne, de­scrib­ing the in­ci­dent as a “se­ri­ous er­ror of judg­ment”.

“The ac­tions of the Nazis were ab­hor­rent and should not be for­got­ten by any gen­er­a­tion,” the spokes­woman said. “Us­ing sym­bols or ar­ti­facts in a way that may nor­malise or triv­i­alise the ac­tions of the Nazis is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able.”

The Anti-Defama­tion Com­mis­sion, a Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tion set up to com­bat an­tisemitism, said it was “shocked and heart­bro­ken”.

“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,” its chair­man, Dvir Abramovich, said.

In a state­ment, Dro­mana sec­ondary col­lege’s prin­ci­pal, Alan Marr, apol­o­gised for “any im­pact this in­ci­dent may have had on our stu­dents or any dis­tress it may have caused to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity”.

“Un­for­tu­nately we have been made aware of an in­ci­dent that does not live up to the stan­dards that we ex­pect of our staff and we are tak­ing im­me­di­ate

steps to in­ves­ti­gate what hap­pened and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion,” he said.

“The in­tent of the his­tory les­son was to ed­u­cate stu­dents about the im­pact of World War II but some of the items brought into the class were en­tirely

in­ap­pro­pri­ate.”

A Vic­to­rian state school em­ployee is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated after he brought replica firearms intoclass, baked a cake with a swastika on it and let a student dress up in his Nazi hat.

The ‘Fuhrer cake’ made by an em­ployee of astate school in Vic­to­ria.

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