Australian Jewish Group Slams ‘Foolish Students’ Who Dressed as Nazis, KKK Members
A leading civil rights group has denounced students of Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Australia who participated in a “politically incorrect” post-exams party on Thursday featuring Nazi costumes and blackface.
In a photo shared on Instagram, three attendees could be seen wearing striped suites with Star of David patches marked “Jude,” meant to identify them as Jewish prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. A fourth man in the background appeared to be dressed as Adolf Hitler.
“Jesus Christ, I Jews you as my lord and saviour #csulater #hazingisfun,” the caption read.
Another photo showed five individuals donning Ku Klux Klan robes, with a sixth squatting while wearing blackface and holding a bowl of cotton.
“Very very politically incorrect,” it was captioned. “Cotton prices are unreal though so it’s a great time to be pickin’.”
The Facebook event page — which has since been taken down, along with the photos — encouraged party-goers to “grab a kit that would legally get you in shit and hood right in.”
The incident was slammed as “vulgar, insensitive and shocking” by the head of the Melbourne-based Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), who said the “foolish students crossed every line of decency.”
“The systematic extermination of millions of people, and the pure hatred of a violent anti-Semitic movement should not form the basis for any party costume,” ADC chairman Dvir Abramovich added, warning that such behavior trivialized human suffering.
“Clearly, this abhorrent and ill-judged incident is demonstrates the need for Holocaust and anti-racism education in Australia,” he continued. “Maybe if these young people visited the Auschwitz death camp they would understand why their party clothes and insensitive conduct were deeply hurtful to so many.”
The university said on Friday that it strongly condemned the incident and had launched an investigation.
“I am extremely angry and disappointed that we’ve had members of our community represent the university in this way,” Andrew Vann, CSU vice-chancellor and president, told reporters. “It’s not appropriate, it’s not acceptable.”
The Black Swan Hotel in the city of Wagga Wagga, where the event was hosted, initially addressed the controversy on its Facebook page by affirming that its staff “have zero tolerance and do not condone this sort of behaviour.”
“We were unaware of this behaviour happening out the back of the pub, however we have immediately dealt with this,” it explained in a statement that has since been removed.
The venue was nonetheless slammed by some for its handling of the event, gathering more than 100 one-star reviews on Facebook.
“There is no way the staff at Black Swan Hotel are innocent,” wrote one individual who identified herself as an Aboriginal woman. “This so called ‘party’ should have been shut down and rejected by the pub before it even began. What an absolute disgrace.”
Dozens of other reviewers disagreed, arguing that staff members may not have been aware of the costumes.
A representative for the Black Swan Hotel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.