(JTA) – A candidate in Canada’s upcoming federal election has apologized for not knowing that Auschwitz was an infamous Nazi death camp.
“Well, I didn’t know what Auschwitz was, or I didn’t up until today,” Alex Johnstone, the New Democratic Party candidate in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas in the October 19 federal election, told the Hamilton Spectator on Tuesday.
She said she’d “heard about concentration camps” before and accused her opponents of “mud-slinging.”
The gaffe came to light when a satirical website found a 2008 Facebook posting of a photograph of part of the electrified fence and its curved concrete supports at Auschwitz.
“Ahhh, the infamous Pollish (sic), phallic, hydro posts,” Johnstone commented underneath. “Of course you took pictures of this! It expresses how the curve is normal, natural, and healthy right!”
Johnstone is vice-chair of the local school board, regional vice-chair on the Ontario Public School Board Association, and has served as a school trustee since 2010.
“While never intending any malice, this comment was clearly inappropriate,” she posted on her Facebook page Wednesday. “I would like to offer my unreserved apology for this comment.
The Huffington Post Canada found Johnstone participated in school board meetings where prizes were awarded to teachers for “excellence in Holocaust Education.”