Silpakorn University apologizes after students cosplayed as Hitler and Chinese communists

The rector of Silpakorn University apologized to the public following a scandal regarding photos of their students cosplaying as Adolf Hitler and the Chinese Red Guards doing a Nazi salute that were shared online.

Rector Chaicharn Thavaravej responded to the incident today, saying that he felt sorry for the “irresponsible action” of these students, and that the university has sent an apology letter to the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok.

Chaicharn ended his statement with a request for all parties to stop criticizing.

“Please cease all criticisms in any aspect that will lead to more discussion [of this incident] and damage to the reputation of the university even further,” the statement on his Facebook page read.

The students in the photos are said to be from the Faculty of Decorative Arts, according to Khaosod English. In the photos, the student president dresses up as Adolf Hitler while the other seniors wear the uniform of the Red Guards, the student movement mobilized by Mao Zedong in the 1960s which carried out torture, murder and humiliation of people across China.

The photos were brought to the attention of netizens by activist Parit Chiwarak, a Mathayom student and secretary of the Education for Liberation group.

“How come people who study arts see authoritarianism as a cool thing?” Parit wrote on Facebook.

Parit said that he was told the students wore costumes for the university’s “Wan Suk Dib” or the traditional hazing ritual where seniors are supposed to pressure the freshmen as much as they can in a series of activities.

“This cannot be just cosplaying. They link the costumes with their authoritarian activities,” Parit said.

Rector Chaicharn said a committee has been appointed to investigate the incident, and every person related to it will receive a disciplinary punishment.

The university will also hold an exhibition to educate their students about the holocaust.


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