Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash
An Argentine design student will have to take an anti-Semitism awareness course after she presented a design of a vacuum cleaner with a large swastika on the end.
The student presented the offensive design during a computer-aided design class at the University of Buenos Aires in the Argentine capital on 16th October.
The student had designed an army-green vacuum resembling a missile launcher with a swastika embossed on one end set against a red background.
The offensive design remained on Miro, the platform used by students and teachers of the university, for a number of days after the scandal erupted.
Fellow student @chopiabra posted the image to Twitter on 3rd November, writing: “The saddest thing is the teacher’s comments, ‘be careful with the iconography used in the product’.”
Ariel Gelblung, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Latin America, told local media: “It was the students who initiated the complaint and generated the condemnation it received on social media.”
Following her classmates’ complaint, the student, who has not been named, penned a letter of apology.
However, pressure from the student body coerced the faculty into suspending the student until she completes an anti-Semitism awareness course at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Buenos Aires office.
Gelblung told local media: “Our intention was not to punish her but first of all find out what happened, why she did what she did. And that is how we offered to do some kind of training.”
The awareness course will total no fewer than 30 hours and may involve meeting a Holocaust survivor or visiting the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires.
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