Awarded for wearing an SS uniform at the Halloween party. It happened in Padua. During the pumpkin festival at the English International School in Padua, a student showed up wearing a Wehrmacht uniform and a Nazi swastika. And it was awarded, in fact, as ‘best costume of the evening’.
Shocked parents and students reported the episode by sending emails to the school and the Jewish community. The communities of Padua and Venice, reports the Corriere del VenetoThey themselves highlighted the incident by writing to the school and the Minister of Education. Giuseppe Valditarato the president Luca Zaia and the president of the Italian Jewish communities Noemí Di Segni. “We learned about this episode – we read in the letter signed by Darío Calimanipresident of the Jewish community of Venice and of Gianni Parenzo, president of the Jewish community of Padua – it seems superfluous to highlight the seriousness of similar behavior in an educational institution. We also regret that the student has been awarded for the originality of the suit, thus legitimizing the sad message that this uniform transmits and of which history has been a tragic witness.”
The school acted immediately to try to address the situation with families and students. “Dear parents – he wrote – we are writing to inform you of an unfortunate incident that occurred during the Halloween party.
One student was wearing a German uniform with an offensive symbol. We want to apologize for what happened. Unfortunately, the seriousness of the situation was not immediately clear to us. “We believe it is appropriate to clarify that it was not at all the intention of the school or its staff to allow or promote such an offensive symbol.”
An oversight, a misunderstanding? “For us the situation is very serious,” explains Parenzo. And he invites the school to “a serious reflection to which the students are subjected by inviting a representative of the Jewish community and one of the other categories (homosexuals, Sinti, disabled) that Nazism massacred in the extermination camps” . The school, waiting to plan the meetings, stressed that “the institute embraces diversity, tolerance and respect for all cultures and religions.” The director and those in charge also met with the young man’s family, underlining the seriousness of the incident and ensuring that there will be greater control measures at future school events.