ADL Calls Chilean Art School’s Use of Nazi Symbolism “Shocking”

New York, NY, March 28, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed shock and outrage regarding statements made by the founder of a new art school scheduled to open on March 28 in the Chilean Patagonia publicly promoting the Nazi swastika and announcing plans to teach Adolf Hitler’s ideology in the school.

ADL has called on the government of Chile to clearly condemn this deeply offensive glorification of Nazism.  In a letter to Ambassador Bulnes, Chile’s Ambassador to the United States, the League also urged the Education Minister to publicly affirm that anti-Semitism, hate and discrimination in any form have no place in the educational system or elsewhere in Chilean society.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement:

We are deeply concerned and offended by the recent shocking remarks made by Mr. Pacheco, publicly embracing the Nazi swastika and expressing interest in teaching Hitler’s anti-Semitic ideology in his school. The school’s opening is a setback in Chilean society.  It sends a chilling message to the Jewish community in Chile and is an affront to all those in Chile who strive to live in harmony.

While we commend the country’s Ministry of Education for its decision to withhold accreditation for the school and welcome statements by local politicians condemning the hateful rhetoric of the school’s founder, we respectfully urge officials at the highest levels of government to publicly state that racism, bigotry or anti-Semitism have no place in Chile’s educational system or anywhere in Chilean society.

Godofredo Rodriguez Pacheco, the school’s founder, told local media, “my ultimate goal is to form a political party, a nationalist proposal designed from Chiloe, and I don’t mind if people tell me I’m a Nazi.” In response to Mr. Pacheco, the President of the Jewish community of Chile Gerardo Gorodischer said that the school “does not contribute anything to the development and growth of the country.”

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.