If you thought you’d seen everything in Argentina’s tumultuous education system…things recently got even more bizarre with the scandal of the “Nazi teacher.” After the shame of the Kirchnerist unions seeking to exploit the case of missing student Santiago Maldonado case, and a scandal in which Argentina was excluded from international education rankings after being accused of manipulating testing data, the defender of Hitler in Mar del Plata rose to fame amidst a fierce and ongoing debate over Argentina’s national education system.
The history teacher in question, Denise Yanet Evequoz, intended to give her class on the German period of National Socialism, when a young man, who surely suspected what was coming, decided to record the day’s class with his cell phone.
Demonstrating a poor vocabulary for a teacher, and serious difficulties to explaining the relevant events, as well as a lack of historical understanding, and repeating words often, Evequoz introduced students to the period in question, explaining the demands the allies imposed upon Germany after the First World War.
As she began to explain the rise of Nazism, Evequoz began to focus on the behavior of German Jews, which involved a plethora of stereotypes: they were closed-minded and insular, that they were dedicated to finance, that they did not help those who were not Jews, and that most Europeans did not want them there.
“It was not just Hitler,” explained the teacher, who emphasized various “virtuous” aspects of the Third Reich government. “I know it is not what you will read in the books or on the internet, where Hitler is demonized, but it was not so,” said the teacher, not knowing that they were recording her, and her commentaries that would ultimately cost her her job.
Some of the unforgettable lines from the “Nazi teacher”
“The Jews were dedicated to the management of finances and many times they took advantage of the people who needed money and later they persecuted them so that they would repay the loans, always with interest. These things generated hatred towards the Jew throughout Europe.”
“All Europe was anti-Semitic…semitic means…against, that they do not agree…Semitic refers to the Jewish race.”
“The Jews had a Communist ideology at this time, leading Germany to more and more misery.”
“They did not help Germany at all. That’s why people had great anger towards them.”
“In other parts of the world, they read that Hitler was a dictator. Who took power by force. But he competed in clean elections and won as Chancellor of Germany.”
“I want to give you an overview of the good things about Nazism, because it was not all bad.”
The “Bloody Burlesque” nightclub act
As soon as the story went viral, journalists began to look for more information about the teacher who was expelled from her position, as expected. Argentina is, of course, home to the largest Jewish community in Latin America, with an estimated 230,000 Jews, mainly in the Buenos Aires area, making the issue particularly sensitive.
Journalists began to uncover Evequoz’ social media postings, which showed her in Nazi regalia; yet, her “night job” was even more interesting.
Denise Yanet Evequoz, alias “Anna Elisa Duprat” at night transformed into the star of “Bloody Burlesque”, an erotic gore show where, curiously, the Nazi references appeared again. Bathed in blood and half-naked, her performances featured Nazi armbands, SS-style hats, and the traditional “Heil Hitler” raised arm salute. Until last week, this woman was in charge of the history classes at two high schools.
The underlying problem
Beyond the absurd and scandalous nature of the case in question, the juicy story is merely a distraction with respect to solving the problems of education in Argentina. Beyond the incompatibility of the content of the class and the unconventional ideas of the teacher, her very poor educational level, which was immediately noticed when she opened her mouth, tells us several things.
Of course, a defense of Nazism should not be preached from a classroom, but the truth is that ideology can easily be hidden or disguised when it comes to getting a job. But no one who has interacted with this woman could possibly entrust her with teaching high school courses. The school administration may have been in the dark with regard to her political ideas, but they can not deny that it is evident that this woman lacks the minimum educational level to be placed in such a position.
But the truth is that the prevalence of lackluster teachers (most of which, of course, are not fascist) has much to do heavy-handed state control of schools. Compulsory curricula, regulations, and discipline codes regulated in a centralized manner kill any incentive for innovation and quality.
Both public and private education have a rigid schemes in place that serve as deterrents to true excellence in the classroom. The outrage of the case in question, should be a learning opportunity for an unsuccessful educational system that needs a revolutionary reform.