A senior Thai cabinet minister met Israel’s ambassador to Thailand on Thursday after the diplomat said he was “saddened” by a government propaganda film that includes an image of a Thai school child painting a portrait of Adolf Hitler.
The film was commissioned by the Office of Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as part of a campaign to promote traditional Thai values. Prayuth, who led a military coup in May, espouses 12 values in his vision of Thai national identity that his government requires taught in the classroom.
The opening of the film includes a sequence in which a smiling boy is applauded by one of his classmates as he paints Hitler’s portrait against a red background and a swastika.
“I’ve told the ambassador that the director did not intend to offend anyone,” Pannada Diskul, minister of the prime minister’s office, told Reuters.
Pannada said the offending scene had since been cut.
The office of Israeli Ambassador Simon Roded issued a statement saying, “I was deeply saddened to see this trivialisation and misuse of Nazi symbols in an official Thai movie.
Unfortunately, it is not the first time we are encountering such ignorance of the history of the Holocaust in Thailand.”