In Taiwan, 7-Eleven stores have pulled products featuring a cartoon vampire that bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler after receiving complaints from the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO) for selling the items, according to several media reports.
The convenience store chain, whose 4,400 Taiwanese locations are owned by the President Chain Store Corp., has suspended sales of the key chains, USB drives and magnets sporting the apparent caricature of the Nazi dictator. Company officials originally denied that the cartoon was meant to depict Hitler, first calling the black square on the figure’s face a tooth, then a nose, rather than a mustache. But on Wednesday, the company acknowledged that many saw the image as offensive and said that it did not intend to be insensitive by selling the items.
“Because there are people with doubts, we've stopped selling the products for now,” a representative from 7-Eleven told the German Press Agency, according to an Israeli newspaper.
The ISECO, which is Israel’s de facto embassy to Taiwan, since China does not allow its diplomatic allies to have official ties with the island, says that while it does not think the products were meant to be a show of support for anti-Semitic ideology, the cartoon figure does signify a lack of understanding of the Nazi party’s history.
“We were appalled to see the Hitler lookalike image being used, again, as a marketing aid and sold in Taiwan's 7-Eleven stores,” ISECO representative Simona Halperin said in a statement Tuesday. “I find it tragic that once again people down the chain of marketing and promotion fail to recognize the meaning of the Dark Age in human history that the Nazi dictator represents.”
Taiwan has a history of Nazi imagery popping up in public as a result of commercial use.
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In 1999, a local company used an image of Hitler to advertise space heaters made in Germany. Additionally, in 2000, a restaurant in Taipei called The Jail displayed images of Nazi concentration camps, while a bar in Taipei operated under the name “Nazi Bar” during the 1990s. Both businesses later removed the references.
The nation’s fascination with Nazi lore could stem from the fact that the party has become a symbol of courage because of poor education, which explains why an association created to explore Hitler’s achievements was able to garner interest from 1,000 people in 2005.
“They’re not anti-Semitic, just ignorant,” Lin Chong-pin, a professor of strategic studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan, told the Christian Science Monitor after a photo surfaced on the Ministry of National Defense’s website of three students wearing Nazi uniforms at a military summer camp. “They think the Nazi uniforms look spirited, that the high hat looks very heroic,” he said. “Reading and understanding of history is very poor.”
Products featuring the cartoon figure, which was designed by blogger Mark Lee, are sold in other Taiwanese stores as well, according to 7-Eleven. Lee says that while the figure’s appearance was inspired by Hitler, the cartoon was not meant to endorse any of Hitler’s views. In addition to depicting the dictator’s famous mustache, the caricature also wears a red armband and, in one version, has its arm raised in the fashion of the iconic Nazi salute.
“I had hoped to use it to satirize some bosses,” Lee told Agence France-Presse. “In the eyes of disgruntled employees, many bosses are greedy and dictatorial and like vampires trying to suck money from them.”
Representatives for 7-Eleven declined to disclose how many of Lee’s products were purchased during their short run on the store’s shelves. The items went on sale Sunday and sold for $15 each, according to the San Diego Jewish World.
People shouldnt be so prejudiced against Hitler and the Nazis. I think it is racism.
The nazis weren't a racial group thus it can't be racism.
A nose I suppose I can see. But a tooth? I don't get it. He's already got two pointed teeth coming out of his mouth. The black square isn't even connected to the mouth.
Remember kids, if you're gonna lie, make sure it is plausible.
Do you guys really believe that a manager of a big company make a stupid lie like "its not a mustache, its tooth"? what should be challanged is the validaty of the news...
I agree. This just shows how racist the jews are. What if someone disliked one of their draydles or kafeltafish. I bet they would be up in arms protesting.
No, you've just demonstrated how ignorant you are. Idiot.
If I were in charge at sev I would pull the hotdogs off the burner before they got burnt up
What exactly is that thing supposed to be ? Hitler they say ? I just don't see it.
I am pretty sure there isn't much that you do see.
Mustache, red arm band with white circle.......
Google "I'm Mark"
This anti-semitism folks. You are not alllowed to take it lightly.
Here in this good ol' free US of A, there too are orgs & spy agencies like AIPAC & ADL keeping a watch on us Americans . If we step out of line as far as there twisted minds are concerned , they make sure that our lives are made miserable.
We are offended that 7-11 in Taiwan is suggesting we look like Hitler.
Maybe they are trying to say that Hitler was a blood sucking parasite............ you can look at that way, too. Just to point out- is the vampire constipated in that one picture?
besides the square stash, which charlie chaplin also had, i dont' see a resemblance. The little vampire dude is even bald!
It actually looks more like a charlie chan vampire thingie. Looking for inscrutable numba one son.
Are you really that stupid? The reference you are trying to allude to is Charlie Chaplin, not Charlie Chan.
You are number 2 (since you probably don't get it....number 1 is urinating, number 2 is defecating)
I know bobcat and he was alluding to was Charlie Chan the famous chinese detective in the movies. So since you have no idea what you are talking about, I believe you would have to refer to yourself as the number 2, since you are obviously so full of it.
thing is charlie chan had more of a fu man chu, not a toothbrush mustache
Hitler's always been big in Asia. I remember being allowed into former South Vietnamese VP Nguyen Cao Ky's office for a photo op in 1968 and seeing a 5 foot tall formal portrait of Hitler immediately behind his desk. He styled his 'Anti-Corruption Youth' movement after the Hitler-Jugend, as well.
can you say instant collector's items?
I was expecting something good. But this is just sad. Shouldn't the ISECO be more concerned about the Israeli image worldwide rather than a little cheap toy that doesn't look anything LIKE Hitler, save that stupid little 'stache?
The basket ball legend Michael Jordan wore the same mustache for awhile. Does that make him a Nazi?
If that counts at Hitler then so does Michael Jordan with his silly Hitler 'stache.
people need to light'in up.. good Grief....
Here we go again...the whiny Zionists out trying to make the world feel guilty when most of the population was not even born during that time.
Get over yourselves you damn whiny Zionist pigs!
Time to move on!
If you want to dwell on atrocities try dealing with the crimes against humanity you are committing in Palestine!
Its amazing how stries like this attract the wacko fringe. Quit whining yourself, idiot, and read about the Holocaust: oh, I forgot, that would require much more effort than putting out your your asinine comments
Don't waste your time. People like "the Dude" don't believe in the holocaust. It was all a Zionist conspiracy etc. They think it was a summer camp. No one was killed.
The Dude, it was the Whiny German embassy in Taiwan that was also complaining, so don't single out the Jews. Your sick antisem is showing. Grow up. O I forgot, you already did, the wrong way.