Notorious college students keep dressing up in blackface, Nazi costumes
“Happy Hanukkah from Auschwitz!!” reads the image caption.
The photo, taken at an event organized and hosted at the elite St. Mark’s residential college, features two recent students from the University of Adelaide in Australia wearing striped concentration camp-style pajamas, caricature hook noses and a yellow Star of David pinned on their chests.
The students are also depicted wearing mock shackles with prisoner identification numbers marked on their inner arms, simulating those tattooed on Jewish concentration camp victims during the Holocaust.
Other photos, also taken at St. Mark’s College — and unearthed as part of a News.com.au investigation into university college culture — feature a student dressed as Adolf Hitler and others doing the Nazi salute.
The images are not from one party. They’re from a number of similar events hosted at the college year after year.
Students who attended this year’s orientation week in February said a whole table of students attended an evening event dressed as Adolf Hitler.
“There were about 10 people, all boys, who came dressed wearing swastika armbands and mustaches,” said a student who wished not to be named, fearing reprisals.
“There was basically free license to choose whatever costume you want. I can’t believe that others could stand by and not step in. It baffles me.”
In recent years, the college has introduced a strict social media policy, but earlier images taken during a 2015 orientation week college quiz night depict teams of students dressed as racial stereotypes, including Asian and Jewish caricatures.
The “Jew Team” can be seen wearing hook noses and fake beards and holding bags with dollar signs. Two female students who are apparently dressed as flames stand alongside the students dressed as Auschwitz prisoners.
One individual commented on Facebook, “Can you do anything slightly politically correct?” to which a student who attended wearing a hooked nose and shackles responded, “Wouldn’t Jew like to know?” The image has been liked more than 40 times.
The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) released a statement slamming the photos.
“This appalling behavior denigrates the memory of the systematic extermination of six million Jews and millions of others during the Holocaust and trivializes the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Nazis,” said Noa Bloch, national political affairs director of AUJS.
“That students can view this sort of behavior as acceptable, or even funny, demonstrates the necessity for better antisemitism and anti-racism education in Australia and on our university campuses.”