Canadian students sorry for Nazi salutes

June 13, 2012 at 7:02 PM

MONTREAL, June 13 (UPI) -- Criticism by Jews of the use of Nazi-style salutes during recent student demonstrations in Montreal elicited an apology from a university student leader.

Some demonstrators had jutted their outstretched arms forward in the German Nazi fashion and chanted "SS" to mock police for alleged brutality. But the salutes were condemned by Jewish organizations, including B'nai Brith Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Pamphlets with swastikas also have appeared in association with the demonstrations.

Martine Desjardins, president of the Quebec university students federation, said Tuesday use of symbolism evocative of those responsible for the Holocaust was wrong, CTV News reported.

"I think students decided to use this sign without considering the consequences of this gesture and I think we need to be very clear with the students that this is not in our values in Quebec or Canada to do something like that," Desjardins said.

"We think it was an error in judgment that they used that sign," the CBC quoted the student leader as saying.

Frank Dimant, chief executive officer of B'nai Brith Canada, blasted those who used the salute and other Nazi imagery.

"We condemn, in the strongest of terms, this inexcusable display by Quebec student protesters that has outraged the Jewish community and demonstrated just how low the level of public debate has fallen on the streets of Montreal," Dimant said in a statement.

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