This is not an April Fool’s Day prank. An art school that promotes Nazi ideology is scheduled to open in Chile, reports The Jewish Daily Forward. The sloppily titled “Art school, President General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte,” after Chile’s iron-fisted former dictator, is set to accept students this Friday on the southern island of Chiloe. Posters promoting the school include a swastika.
The school’s founder, Godofredo Rodriguez Pacheco (above in photo from Reuters) displays a sign with a swastika at the President General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte Art School. “The curriculum will include workshops on Nazism,” said Pacheco, a nationalist who supports Pinochet and has sympathies with Nazi ideologies.
Pacheco, told the local media, “My ultimate goal is to form a political party, a nationalist proposal designed from Chile, and I don’t mind if people tell me I’m a Nazi.”
Jewish community leaders, Chilean civil society groups and a lawmaker have demanded that the school, which the Jewish community called offensive, remain shuttered. The school isn’t recognized by the country’s Ministry of Education. Yet there are no laws in Chile that restrict the spread of Nazi ideology.
Gerardo Gorodischer, the president of Chile’s Jewish community, told CNN Chile that the school “does not contribute anything to the development and growth of the country.”
Police arrested Pacheco earlier this week on unrelated theft charges, according to reports.
Chilean lawmaker Daniel Farcas told the local media that he would be willing to “exert all possible actions to prevent those who seek to claim a murderer regime actually does not have a chance to do it.”
Hitler wanted to be an artist, if only he were accepted into art school in Vienna, a school as disgusting as this wouldn’t even be thinkable.
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About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.