Top prize for 'Hitler' at Australian school

The head teacher of an Australian school has issued an apology after awarding a child dressed as Adolf Hitler a prize for best costume.

At a fancy dress event at the Catholic primary school in Perth a pupil arrived dressed as the Nazi leader. Staff judged the costume, complete with swastika, as worthy of first place in the competition.

After parents complained about the decision the school sent out a letter of explanation, describing the costume and prize as “inappropriate.”

But the head teacher said it was not “sinister” as the children had been asked to dress as a well-known figure.

He said: “Hitler was a fairly famous person.”

The head teacher said “in retrospect” he would have acted differently, but added: "To me it's a mountain out of a molehill. I just think it's a one-off thing.”

The school said that in future they will make sure students “understand the significance of their choice of character and the impact it has on other people.

“We apologise for any umbrage that may have been taken and seek your pardon to continue to build a vibrant and loving school community."

In 2001 a Swiss performance of Hamlet came under criticism for featuring characters wearing Nazi outfits.

Last updated: 5:16pm, August 27 2010