Sydney, Australia, Jan 12 (EFE).- New South Wales Governor Dominic Perrottet apologized Thursday for acknowledging that in 2003 he dressed up as a Nazi on his 21st birthday, an act that he called a “terrible mistake” of his youth.
“I am deeply ashamed of what I did, and I am truly sorry for the damage and pain this will cause to people across our state and particularly to the Jewish community and Holocaust survivors,” the 40-year-old politician said.
“At that age in my life, I just didn’t understand the seriousness of what the – Nazi – uniform meant (…) It was just naive, a terrible mistake by a 21-year-old who had no depth or appreciation,” he said in a press conference visibly crestfallen.
Perrottet admitted the fact, of which there is no known media or photographic evidence, after speaking privately Tuesday with a colleague and saying he had previously thought of apologizing “on numerous occasions.”
“This is something that has caused me anxiety throughout my life and when I received the call (from a colleague) two days ago I thought it was important to tell my truth. I had to be the one to explain it to our people, no one else,” the conservative politician said, adding that no one has threatened him with divulging the information.
In October, the politician publicly reprimanded a group of soccer fans who gave the Nazi salute during a match, something Perrottet then described as “horrendous” behavior.
His statements come before New South Wales, whose capital is Sydney and where 8.1 million people live – more than 31 percent of the inhabitants of Australia – go to the polls on Mar. 25 to elect the regional government, when Perrottet seeks re-election. EFE