Brazilian Jews to teach about Holocaust at school that flew swastikas

RIO DE JANEIRO — A Brazilian Jewish federation will provide educational support to a private school in the country’s northeast where a classroom was decorated with Nazi flags during a lesson on totalitarian regimes.

Students and history teachers from Santa Emilia School in Recife will visit the Kahal Zur Israel temple, the first synagogue established in the Americas in 1637, to learn about Judaism, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, the school and the Jewish federation announce in a joint statement on Monday.

The school removed a Facebook post praising the teacher — who also wore a swastika band around his arm like a Nazi soldier — after it drew major criticism, reports the Diario de Pernambuco newspaper.

According to Jader Tachlitsky, Pernambuco Jewish federation’s communication coordinator, school representatives agreed that the tone of the post was inappropriate, but did not agree that the teacher’s methodology was unfortunate and there was no apology.

“The main thing is that the school is open to having the topic worked by us, which means that we can interact with the students, learn what was really learned and have the chance to educate them in a more consistent way on the subject,” Tachlitsky says.

According to Brazilian law, promoting Nazi or Nazi-related propaganda is subject to punishment by a prison sentence of two to five years, plus a fine.

— JTA

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