Jewish high schools students in Buenos Aires photographed by man wearing Nazi symbols


(JTA) — A man wearing a hat and shirt bearing Nazi symbols was arrested in Buenos Aires after taking photos of students leaving a Jewish high school.

Police detained the man, 62, on Monday outside of the ORT high school in the Almagro neighborhood of Buenos Aires after asking him to explain why he was taking the photographs.

Photos of the man and discussions about the case have gone viral on social media in Argentina.

The Almagro neighborhood has a large Jewish community. ORT was first founded in Argentina in the neighborhood in  1936 as a civil institution and the first courses were held there in 1941. The early successes motivated the inauguration of a whole building in Almagro in 1951. Due to the continuous growth of the organization, a second ORT site was inaugurated in the Belgrano neighborhood in 1986.  There is an ORT Jewish high school at each site, with more than 6,000 students, both Jewish and non-Jewish.


The incident is an open case in the Justice Department, and is being handled by the Prosecutor’s Office for Criminal Offenses in Buenos Aires. Investigators currently are analyzing the photos from the incident, as well as the suspect’s clothing. He is charged with “harassment and discrimination.” Argentina has had an anti-discrimination law on the books since 1988.

ORT students recently were offended by students of other schools while on a traditional graduation trip.

Argentina was a haven for Nazi war criminals after World War II, including Joseph Mengele and Erich Priebke. One month ago, the country presented to Israel tens of thousands of documents from the World War II era, some of them related to Nazi war criminals. Currently Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley is in Buenos Aires filming a Hollywood movie about the capture of Adolf Eichmann by Israeli agents.

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