RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Jewish federation in Brazil will provide educational support to a private school in the country that had a third-grade classroom decorated with Nazi flags during a lesson on totalitarian regimes.
Students and history teachers from the 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 announced Monday in a joint statement.
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, the Diario de Pernambuco newspaper reported.
“Third-grade students have experienced a super theme class, almost a super production,” the April 10 post read. “Have they liked it? Of course.”
According to Jader Tachlitsky, the 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 said.
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.