Hitler 'Superhero' Poster Forces Uni Apology

Thailand's top university has been forced to apologise after students created a banner that showed Adolf Hitler saluting alongside superheroes such as Batman and Superman.

The huge billboard was put up outside the art faculty of Chulalongkorn University to celebrate the latest cohort of graduates.

It said "Congratulations" in bold white letters, while Hitler was depicted with his arm raised in a Nazi salute next to the likes of Captain America and the Incredible Hulk.

Photographs posted online showed graduates in their robes, mimicking the gesture.

The banner was pulled down two days later after complaints.

The university said it was painted by ignorant students who had no idea the image of a dictator behind the genocide of millions of people would be offensive.

The art school's dean, Suppakorn Disatapundhu, said: "(We) would like to formally express our sincere apology for our students' 'Superhero' mural,

"I can assure you we are taking this matter very seriously."

Mr Suppakorn said first-year art students had painted the banner as part of a traditional send-off.

After summoning them for an explanation, he said the thinking behind the picture was to show that good and bad people exist in the world.

"Hitler was supposed to serve as a conceptual paradox to the superheroes," he said.

"This kind of thoughtless display will not happen again."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights group, had criticised the banner prior to its removal.

"Hitler as a superhero? Is he an appropriate role model for Thailand's younger generation - a genocidal hate monger who mass murdered Jews and Gypsies and who considered people of colour as racially inferior?" Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean at the centre, said.

"The Simon Wiesenthal Center is outraged and disgusted by this public display at Thailand's leading school of higher education."

The study of history in the Thai school system revolves primarily around the history of Thailand and its long line of kings. World history is largely absent, with little or no mention of the Holocaust.