Shalom Life | January 12, 2015

Video Issued by Thai Government to Promote 'Values' Depicts Hitler & Nazi Imagery

A senior official has since called the scene, which has been condemned by the Israeli embassy and across social media, a "misunderstanding"

By: Daniel Koren

Published: December 10th, 2014 in News » World

Photo Caption: Young boys painting a picture of Hitler

Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot

Since Saturday, an animated video commissioned by the Thai government has been making the rounds as a trailer in major movie theaters, one that the country's military stated was created in an effort to promote the "12 core values" every Thai student should be aware of.

There's one scene, however, that has caused an uproar on social media and has yet to be fully explained, or justified, illustrating a happy, smiling-face schoolboy who for some reason is painting a portrait of Adolf Hitler and a Nazi flag, as his classmate looks on in approval, and even applauds.

Naturally, the clip has been met with much negative reaction across social media channels, and condemned by Israel's embassy in Bangkok, prompting a senior official in the prime minister's office, Panadda Diskul, to refer to the situation as a "misunderstanding."

Diskul added that the Nazi imagery in the animated short will be replaced shortly.

As you can tell from the video (watch below), the propaganda film looks at two young kids who learn about life and loyalty. As Panadda explained to the Associated Press, the scene depicting one of the boys painting a portrait of Hitler saluting a swastika was an effort to show the likeliness between his mother and a cruel, ruthless dictator.

While this may be Panadda's justification for the Nazi imagery, in the video itself, there is no such explanation, no dialogue, nor any way to understand why the boy is painting an image of Hitler and a swastika. It's just a swift, five-second shot of Hitler and a swastika, and then it moves on. One moment the boys are catching butterflies at doing experiments in chemistry class, and the next moment they're painting images of the Third Reich dictator.

A subliminal message, perhaps?

"The film is good, but it has caused a slight misunderstanding in our society," Panadda said. "We won't stop the project, but we will replace that problematic picture with another, more proper one."

In response, Israel's ambassador to Thailand, Simon Roded, stated that he was "deeply saddened to see this trivialization and misuse of Nazi symbols in an official Thai movie."

"I was surprised that throughout the screening process this movie must have gone through to be approved for public broadcast, none of the smart, well educated people checking it had identified it as being problematic and offensive," Roded added. ""If we learn anything from this incident it is that Holocaust education, especially its global messages of tolerance, should be introduced into the Thai curriculum."

Watch the clip below:

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