Students at Kuang Fu High School held a 'Nazi' parade at a Christmas event provoking a strong response from Israel's representative. Asher Yarden called the event "deplorable and shocking".
The furious response has led to the resignation of the principal of the school, Cheng Hsiao-ming, who said he took "full responsibility" and issued an apology. The rally on Friday (23 December) included a cardboard tank with one student carrying out what appears to be a Nazi salute.
Yarden wrote on Facebook: "It is deplorable and shocking that seven decades only after the world had witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust, a high school in Taiwan is supporting such an outrageous action.
"We strongly condemn this tasteless occurrence and call on the Taiwanese authorities, in all levels, to initiate educational programmes which would introduce the meaning of the Holocaust and teach its history and universal meaning."
Disclosing his resignation, Cheng said: "As educators, we should have taught students to have the right values. We will learn from the mistakes we made and have asked students to do so too."
The Israel Economic and Cultural Office was also invited to talk to the students about the Nazi era when six million Jews died in the Second World War.
The German Institute in Taipei also issued a statement on Facebook expressing dismay. "Sadly, the students clearly do not understand that the Nazi symbol stands for disregard for human rights and oppression."
The images of the mock Nazi parade went viral after they were shared on the Professional Technology Temple (PTT), Taiwan's largest online academic bulletin board.
"No wonder Taiwan is ranked the third-most ignorant country in the world," a netizen said.
The Perils of Perception Survey by Mori ranked Taiwan number three on an "ignorance index" after India and China respectively.