7-Eleven stores in Taiwan pull Hitler lookalike items
These items were pulled from 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan after complaints about their resemblance to Adolf Hitler.
September 28th, 2011
01:33 PM ET

7-Eleven stores in Taiwan pull Hitler lookalike items

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.

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Filed under: Adolf Hitler • Taiwan
soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. Frangible

    Hitler was a Kuei-Jin?

    September 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sheikyerboutie

    Give me a freakin' break

    September 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Terri Anderson

    you better hope you're right. eternity is a long time to spend in hell if you're wrong.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • DRM Free

      So you believe out of fear? I thought you needed to believe out of love in order for it to count. Just sayin'

      September 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael9218

      Pascal's wager...the cowards reason for justifying belief in a religious faith.

      September 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • toxictown

      What if *you're* wrong. You could spend eternity in a Hindu hell.

      September 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tucson Jim

      You are a brainwashed fool. Go spout your idiotic religious fantasies elsewhere.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dant

      "Pascal's wager" is basically a fallacy at this point.

      October 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kite005

    Oh yeah looks exactly like Hitler. Geez.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • gaucho420

      He has a red armband and has a Nazi salute (both not picture). In additionm, the creator acknowledges its inspired by Hitler. How is that NOT Hitler then? Did you read the article or just comment?

      September 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    Oh! for goodness sake guys, watch out. This here is anti-semitism we are talking about.
    Do you folks want to be confined to your homes and barred from human contact?
    AIPAC & ADL in your 'hood is watching.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jdog

    these things happen all the time over there, there are many in marketing departments there that have NO clue about these sorts of things, another problem is washed and glossed over world history taught in school

    September 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Guy Cabularro

    I have a shaved head and I seriously get refused service in jewish delis if i happen to wear army pants! No joke! Nevermind I'm half Mexican and a Buddihist! It's a very sensitive topic!

    September 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonsie

      6 millions murdered Jews – I think that would tend to make a person a little defensive!

      September 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • UFC iTard

      So what? I'm Chinese, I don't freak out every time I come across some railroad tracks or an opium rock

      September 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Garrett41

    OMG! When can I get one of these. I love it!

    September 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    Wow...hyper-sensitive much?

    September 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Busted

    I thought what was happening in palestine was considered the Dark Age in human history and supports something that the Nazi dictator represented

    September 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Annexian

    IMO, we need some "Nazi Chic" here...

    Not necessarily out of any real like of Nazis/Nazism, but just to flip a finger at Israel and the Jew controlled media.
    They've had an illegal sedition lobby for decades and they've made tv SUCK while the media is full of propaganda lies that have helped our rich elite (a good number jews, btw) bleed our country dry for decades, long as they got to fire people who made anti Jewish/Israeli remarks from the media and excrete one "Holocaust" movie after another.

    But, oh, won't we offend good Jewish persons, good citizens, and businessmen...?

    Like, say MADOFF...?

    Just get some cute Hitler toys.

    "No one who speaks German can be an evil man!"

    "Hey, Hitler!"

    "He's really very funny! He's a Gas!"

    September 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tess Stickles

    He ruined that mustache forever. Cant even say it's Chaplin.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jastown

    Hitler was ASIAN!?!?!?

    September 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael Velli

    I don't know. Looks like Chaplin to me.

    September 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bristoltwit palin... America's favorite dancing cow.


    September 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
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