Student dressed as Hitler wins 'best-dressed' award in front of Jewish children at Australian school

SYDNEY (AFP) - A student dressed as Hitler has won a prize at an assembly in front of visiting Jewish children at an Australian school, which on Friday (Sept 9) called it "an innocent mistake".

The boy turned up at the private St, Philip's College in Alice Springs, which teaches 12 to 18 year olds, kitted out as the Nazi leader this week after being given permission to do so by a teacher.

His outfit was deemed so good, he won one of the "best-dressed" awards, which were handed out at an assembly in front of Jewish exchange students who were visiting from a school in Melbourne, national radio reported.

St. Philip's College principal Roger Herbert said it was an error in judgment and apologies had been made to the exchange students.

"We got them together and apologised and they were fantastic, absolutely fantastic, and accepting," Mr Herbert told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"We also contacted the school to say look, this had happened, please understand."

In a statement, St Philip's College said it was "an innocent mistake" and "a very distressing lesson for all concerned".

"The student involved has an interest in history and politics and did the right thing by getting permission for his 'Book Week' costume," it said.

"The school apologises unreservedly for any offence that has been caused. We are reviewing our policies on these kind of events to ensure that nothing like this can happen again."

Mr Herbert said the teacher who gave the boy permission to dress as Hitler was "shattered" by her decision.

"Now she is absolutely shattered that she said that, and I'm really concerned about her well-being," he said.

Mr Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, the principal of Melbourne's Bialik College, where the children were visiting from, described the incident as a "learning opportunity for the community".

"I understand that no malice was intended," he told the ABC.