At this weekends school sports day the students paraded in their annual themed fancy dress costumes. Unfortunately this year the students paraded in full Nazi gear, SS guard uniforms and a young girl at the front dressed as Hitler.
It would be easy to condemn this parade out of hand as a right wing Nazi fest, but give a little bit of thought to what the Thai students know of the era?
Without being critical of the Thai school curriculum, the history covered by Thai students deals more with Thailand history. Has our history lessons deal more with UK's history, the big difference being that the UK as been involved with more of the world events than what Thailand as been. Thailands WWII history involved capitulation to Japan, then towards the end of the war, Thailand tried to declare war on The allied powers. After the war, Thailand was occupied by the UK and US for a few years. That was it really. Many Thai's risked their lives to help keep allied POW's alive in the Burma rail death camps.
Obviously the UK's WWII was very much more expensive and as a country we bore a massive suffering, sadly many european and other countries around the world suffered more. All this goes to say that we were on the winning side so we like the history.
The students of the Sacred Heart Preparatory School in Chiang Mai were totally unaware of the distress that this parade was likely to cuase. I just hope there isn't the usual over reaction that is a thai trait and people are fired and lamnasted. The best thing that could happen is a series of lessons and lectures for the students on the Nazi's the holocaust.