Hitler lookalike key rings cause outrage

2011-09-26 19:05

Taipei - A Hitler lookalike appeared on key rings and magnets on sale at 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan, triggering a strong reaction on Monday from the de facto Israeli embassy, which said it was "appalled".

The items, seen at several 7-Eleven convenience stores in Taipei, sported an Adolf Hitler-style cartoon figure with a short black moustache, a brown jacket and a red-black-and-white symbol reminiscent of the Nazis' swastika banners.

"We were appalled to see the Hitler lookalike image being used, again, as marketing aid, and sold in Taiwan’s 7-Eleven stores," said Simona Halperin, representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei.

"I find it tragic that once again, people [in] marketing and promotion fail to recognise the meaning of the dark age in human history the Nazi dictator represents."

She added that she was sure the images were the result of "ignorance" and did not reflect "support or identification with the atrocities committed during the Holocaust by the Nazis."

An official from President Chain Store Corp, which runs 7-Eleven in Taiwan, denied the images were meant to represent the German dictator.

"They don't look like Hitler. It's not a moustache, but a tooth," she said, referring to a black square in the middle of the figure's face.

An official at the German Institute Taipei, Germany's de facto embassy in Taiwan, expressed "regret that Nazi images are mistakenly used on some improper occasions".

East Asian pop culture and commercial art has a long history of fascination with Hitler and the Nazis.

Occasionally, Hitler turns up in Asian advertisement campaigns, and in the 1990s a pub called "Nazi Bar" was briefly in operation in Taipei.

In July the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei expressed shock when three local students were seen dressed in Nazi uniforms at a military-organised summer camp.

Neither Israel nor Germany have embassies in Taiwan, as China requires from all its diplomatic allies that they sever official ties with the island.

  • Danny - 2011-09-27 05:06

    i have some additional news tidbits to share with you both pro and con. email me at danbloom in the gmail account or send me FB message here. The truth here is that Mark Lee the designer admitted he did base the cartoonish doll on Hitler but that he was using satire and irony as an artist to lampoon what the label on the packge sys in Chinese is "the boss is angry" so the Hitlerish cartoon is not really meant to be Hitler per se, or a slap in the face of Germans today or Jews or Holocaust survivors, but as he said, merely a Taiwanese designers take on Hitler as a dictatorial brutish BOSS and the diollar sign armband is to signify that the boss only cares about MONEY and the office workers must toil for his own profit, so from a Taiwanese POV, the cartoon is harmless and funny and cute. Really. Most Tawiaense do not even see Hitler in the face. I aske a college student last night what he saw in the doll face and he for two mintues he could not answer or say any name of any person.....then i sugggested what about Hitler, and THEN he got it qyuickly but he also said it was jsut cute and funny to him and he had no real knowledge of Euro history, and that's the truth.

      negro.please - 2011-09-27 06:13

      The difference between the Taiwanese and Western attitude is that their judgement is not clouded by the History Channel, which up till today, 50+ years later, still plays documentaries on a daily basis reminding us how bad he was and how great they are. Compared to the exposure the atomic bomb incident gets, it's clear what their agenda is.

  • Badballie - 2011-09-27 10:10

    The Jews found one thing in history they could use to protect themselves and they will never let go. Time to grow up my chosen ones.

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