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Uproar after Nazi hats, gas canisters and swastika cake used in class

Nov 8, 2018 by

By Henrietta Cook –

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

During a history lesson on World War II, the Dromana Secondary College employee also allowed students to play with a replica Zyklon B gas canister, which resembled one that would have been used to kill Jews.

The students were given Nazi uniform to wear.
The students were given Nazi uniform to wear.

The items were part of his personal collection of military memorabilia. Students also handled rifles, helmets and uniforms once worn by Australian troops.

The Education Department is investigating the incident, which it described as a “serious error of judgement”

Among the items the students were shown were canisters that once held deadly gas.
Among the items the students were shown were canisters that once held deadly gas.

“The actions of the Nazis were abhorrent and should not be forgotten by any generation,” it said.

“Using symbols or artefacts in a way that may normalise or trivialise the actions of the Nazis is completely unacceptable.”

The employee, who is not a teacher, uploaded photos on Facebook showing students posing with rifles, wearing a cap with a Nazi eagle and inspecting the Zyklon B canister.

A concerned individual then alerted the Anti-Defamation Commission, a Jewish organisation which fights anti-Semitism.

The organisation’s chairman, Dr Dvir Abramovich, said he was shocked and heartbroken.

“Students deserve better than this and we have failed them,” he said.

The man brought in a wide range of military memorabilia.
The man brought in a wide range of military memorabilia.

“The Holocaust, in which six millions Jews and millions of others were systematically murdered, should not be the subject of funny games, entertainment and dress up.”

He said at a time when white-supremacist activities were on the rise in Australia, schools were supposed to be safe learning environments.

“Many lines of decency have been crossed here and most people would be at a loss for words to understand how this could have happened.”

In a Facebook post, the Dromana Secondary College employee said he decided to bake Hitler’s favourite cake after watching a documentary about the Nazi leader’s maid.

The man also shared a swatika-decorated cake with the students.
The man also shared a swatika-decorated cake with the students.

He posted a photo of the freshly-baked cake, which featured a swastika made out of apple slices.

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

A few days later he wrote that he’d brought the leftover cake into class. It’s understood that the swastika was not apparent when the half-eaten cake was shared with students.

He also bemoaned how a student stole his Nazi badge. “Someone must’ve liked my NSDAP badge more than me and it’s gone,” he wrote next to an emoji of a crying face.

The man is a member of a Facebook group that sells military items from World War I and II.

Dromana Secondary College principal Alan Marr said the incident did not live up to the standards it expected of staff and it was investigating what happened and would take appropriate action.

“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,” he said.

“We apologise for any impact this incident may have had on our students or any distress it may have caused to members of the community.”

He said students were aware of the significant impact of the Holocaust and had visited the Jewish Holocaust Centre.

“We will continue to reiterate to them the important lessons from World War II,” he said.

Source: Uproar after Nazi hats, gas canisters and swastika cake used in class

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