Shalom Life | May 17, 2015

Pictures Of Swastikas And Hitler Posted at the South African University

As part of a campaign to remove the statue of colonizer Rhodes, photos of the Nazi leader were posted around the school on Wednesday

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: March 19th, 2015 in News » World

Pictures Of Swastikas And Hitler Posted at the South African University

Photo: Images of Hitler and swastikas at South African University

Credit: SAUJS Cape Town


Pictures of Adolf Hitler and swastikas were posted all over buildings at the South African University on Wednesday. Students awoke to find the images plastered around the grounds of the campus, located in Cape Town, much to their distress. Until the offending students had been discovered, no context or explanation as to the posting of these photos had been given.

According to a report by The Times of Israel, the images were placed on campus to protest a statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes that’s erected on the property. Rhodes was the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in the 19th century, and was known for being exploitative of the peoples in South Africa during the nation’s colonization.

The students who posted the photos, according to the report, explained that they’d posted the photos so, “Jews could understand… the struggles of the black child,” and that, for them, seeing images of Rhode are, “just as bad as Hitler.”

Although the South African Union of Jewish Student (SAUJS) has expressed their support for the removal of Rhodes’ statue from the campus, they released a statement condemning the actions taken by the protesters.

“The students’ attempt to re-appropriate the Holocaust for the purpose of their own aims is unacceptable, and trivializes the greatest crime against humanity in history,” the SAUJS said in the article. “When a swastika appears in a public place (especially without any context, as occurred today) this is often construed as an imminent threat of violence against Jews. No attempt has been made by the protestors to understand this fear, or… the visceral emotional reaction by Jews upon seeing symbols of Nazism.”

“SAUJS supports the struggle of black South Africans to redress inequality and remove the structural discrimination which exists against them as a result of colonialism. [However,] the use of symbols of genocide against the Jewish people is not a justifiable form of protest.”

Currently the students who posted the photos of the Nazi leader remain unapologetic for their actions, and have plans for another poster campaign similar to this one in the upcoming weeks. They also demonstrated their hatred for the statue of Rhodes by throwing excrement at the statue earlier this week.
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