NEWPORT BEACH (AP) — The high school party took an ugly turn. Drink cups were used to form a crude swastika. Nazi salutes flashed. Cameras clicked.

What appears to have been a woefully misguided attempt at humor turned into a national em­bar­rassment for Newport Beach, leaving behind out­rage, disbelief and finally, hope for change.

On Thursday, the step­sister of Anne Frank vis­it­ed privately with stu­dents who attended the party and described an emo­tion­al meeting in which she re­count­ed her ex­per­i­ences at the Ausch­witz death camp.

When she was freed at 16, Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, now 89, was left with only her mother. The rest of her family per­ished.

When the students sal­uted the swastika at the party last weekend, “they didn’t realize what it really meant,” she said. “They just thought it was a joke.”

They apologized pro­fuse­ly during the meeting, which also included par­ents, community members and student leaders from New­port Harbor High School.

Schloss said she hoped there would be more edu­cation about the Holocaust and a war now 75 years in the past. The photo was a reminder that the warning of the Holocaust — never forget — sometimes is.

The students “don’t re­al­ize what those signs real­ly mean to victims who have gone through this period,” she said.

The photo shocked the wealthy seaside enclave known for its beaches and placid streets dotted with palms. Hundreds of people came to a meeting at the school Monday to express outrage.

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