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‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúBecause there are people with doubts, we've stopped selling the products for now,‚ÄĚ a representative from 7-Eleven told the German Press Agency, according to an Israeli newspaper.
The ISECO, which is Israel‚Äôs 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‚Äôs history.
‚ÄúWe were appalled to see the Hitler lookalike image being used, again, as a marketing aid and sold in Taiwan's 7-Eleven stores,‚ÄĚ ISECO representative Simona Halperin said in a statement Tuesday. ‚ÄúI 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.‚ÄĚ
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 ‚ÄúNazi Bar‚ÄĚ during the 1990s. Both businesses later removed the references.
The nation‚Äôs 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‚Äôs achievements was able to garner interest from 1,000 people in 2005.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre not anti-Semitic, just ignorant,‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs website of three students wearing Nazi uniforms at a military summer camp. ‚ÄúThey think the Nazi uniforms look spirited, that the high hat looks very heroic,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúReading and understanding of history is very poor.‚ÄĚ
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‚Äôs appearance was inspired by Hitler, the cartoon was not meant to endorse any of Hitler‚Äôs views. In addition to depicting the dictator‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúI had hoped to use it to satirize some bosses,‚ÄĚ Lee told Agence France-Presse. ‚ÄúIn the eyes of disgruntled employees, many bosses are greedy and dictatorial and like vampires trying to suck money from them.‚ÄĚ
Representatives for 7-Eleven declined to disclose how many of Lee‚Äôs products were purchased during their short run on the store‚Äôs shelves. The items went on sale Sunday and sold for $15 each, according to the San Diego Jewish World.
Lol what a joke. Hitler! Really? The sticker shows a blad Asian guy with a square nose and fangs. Where's the resemblance? If it resembled anyone from the Third Reich, I'd go with Ernst Rohm. He was short, round, slant-eyes, and wore a brown coat.
Look again. See that red patch on his arm?
No facial scar though.
Hitler is old story. No reason to rile up about.
Not if he and his followers tried to kill members of your family. Idiot.
I wish my brother George were here!!!
All turbans are hereby offensive as the were used and worn by terrorists that also killed innocent people. *scratches mustache*
Reaching! Come on, try a real coherent thought. And, no I am not muslim. You just don't make much sense, sorry.
It makes perfect sense. This whole being offended over anything is getting ridiculous. I have no issues with anyone of any race/religion/political background, it's the people who get mindlessly upset, or go to extremes that I can't stand. (eg. Terrorism, Being offended over this stupid vampire cartoon, that preacher who decided to burn the Qur'an, the mosque in New York, and so on and so forth.)
Man, Hitler really ruined that mustache style for the rest of us, didn't he??
How much longer is the world going to let the Jews use guilt to get everything they want? It is getting close to 100 years since ww2. Who gives a cra p other than the people who try to milk it for all they can?
66 years is not close to 100. Maybe you are thinking of WWI.
You may not realize that there are still people alive today who remember Hitler. There would be no problem with a cartoon character resembling Attila the Hun.
georgecarlinforever... he's dead, right? Yeah... must have been correct.
An Asian vampire Hitler? Come on, how about the Israelis stop bulldozing Palestinian neighborhoods and practicing overt exclusionary racism before they start playing the wounded victim on something that doesn't even affect them?
You got from Hitler to Mormons in about three posts. Panama Red must be in town.
Panama Red? I haven't heard anyone use that word since I don't know when.
You left out the Jehovahs Witnesses, i assume you believe they are the "truth"
Terri is drinking the eternal damnation kool-aid. Fear is a powerful motivator. Now that your hook, line and sinker they have you where they want you.
Seriously? If it hadn't been specifically pointed out I would never have thought "Hitler" when I saw the pictures. Hitler did not just have a distinctive mustache. He also had a very distinctive hair style.
Not one but two articles about this. The professional victim is crying a storm today
Maybe if the Jews get out of Taiwan then they won't have to worry about seeing things like that. I saw the Thai girls in Nazi uniforms it looked better on them then it did on that Prince from England's younger brother I'll tell you that. Usually if I see something that offends me for sale I just don't buy it and move on or just don't shop in that store any more you Jews may want to try that instead of being all whiny.