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.

Outrage about Thai school's Nazi parade

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.

Post by:
Filed under: Adolf Hitler • Taiwan
soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. cyclobrown

    i knew israel contoled us policy now they tell 7-11 what to do?

    September 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • john doe

      contoled=controlled, us=U.S.

      September 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spurt

      Learn English you retard! Also, Eddy can't dance.

      September 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane Aus

      Just for the record, "john doe" should be "John Doe" if you care so much about grammar. You little hypocrite.

      September 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. InFormed

    How ironic. Hitler would have wiped the whole lot of them out if given a chance, because of their lack of pure Aryan blood.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • V. P.

      You're right, perhaps someon should have reminded them of that fact.

      September 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • CW

      You do realize the creator said in the article he was trying to compare bosses to Hitler? I doubt Hitler was reading BusinessWeek on a toilet back then. Either way, that image is more laughable than shocking.

      September 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Santa

    Treason in action:

    September 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Another Evolutionary Biologist

    Bears a striking resemblance to Hitler? Not really. A lot of people had "cookie-duster" mustaches. If it had the mustache AND the comb-over, it would be one thing, but it just as easily resembles Charlie Chaplin with just the cookie-duster.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • martin

      Michael Jordan has a Hitler mustache.

      September 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • SKyle

      Take a closer look. That "Charlie Chaplin" is also wearing a red armband with a swastika lookalike on it...

      September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • CW

      The creator said in the article he was trying to compare bosses to Hitler, not depict Hitler himself. I doubt Hitler was reading BusinessWeek on a toilet back then. Either way, that image is more laughable than shocking.

      September 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CT Yankee

    Man oh man, people are just so ready to get over excited over nothing..........in the first place those little thing-a-muh-bobs don't even look anything like hitler.........the little black square could be anything and hitler was german not asian in any case.......as to the parade by the students; with the exception of the swatikas, their uniforms were fashion statements rather than Nazi uniforms.............from a fashion point of view, people have been fascinated with WW2 era German uniforms for decades...........and many people agree that those uniforms from that time were great looking as military uniforms go. I'm sure that in the past there were people who were offended by French Hussar uniforms of Napoleons time due to all the strife he caused but it doesn't alter the fact that they are clearly the most beautiful European military uniforms ever designed. That's just the way it is...........maybe next time they should use some other little scribble on their armbands like Michael Jackson so they could remain controversial but not offensive.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • CoffeeClue

      I bet if your family was killed in a concentration camp, you would take a different view.

      September 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • tekstep1

      Nazi uniform fashion statement? Whats next, patterned KKK sheets?

      September 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cohen

    This is absurd, obscene etc. for anyone to complain about this cartoon resembling anyone other than a cartoon character! Let the Danish cartoonist draw something that resemble anything so called offense to Jews and see how they react, I bet he will apologize up and down to them. Anything goes unless it is considered offensive to Jews? Freedom of expression is out of the window. Shame on anyone who complains about something like this.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Jones

      "Let the Danish cartoonist draw something that resemble anything so called offense to Jews and see how they react, I bet he will apologize up and down to them."


      September 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jT

    The Jews are just as prejudice against other races of people. They just don't like it when they are the victims. Hypocrites !!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ditka

      that might be the dumbest most insensitive thing I've ever read.

      September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • UFC iTard

      Truth hurts.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Eddie Roman

    Not surprising, since Americans are forgetting Hitler as well. 180movie (dot) com

    September 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cyrus

    Destroy everything remotely resembling Charlie Chaplin. Hitler reminds me of Chaplin!

    September 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brook

    Interesting. I wonder if they are going to start pulling Charlie Chaplin merchandise off the shelves ASAP. It seems Charlie had a much stronger resemblance to Hitler then this cartoon image did. Its all about garnering media attention. Sadly, media companies such as CNN fall for it every time.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Walker

    israel has now surpassed Hitler's Germany in belligerence

    September 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • tekstep1

      That is the most idiotic thing I have heard all day. You deserve a cookie.

      September 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexasJewboy

      Interesting, I don't recall Israel murdering 12 million people in concentration camps or trying to take over the world, or trying to "purify" humanity by killing anyone deemed not genetically fit, or performing grotesque experiments on human beings. Admittedly I don't really like the direction Israeli politics has been headed for a long time, but to compare them to Hitler's regime is ludicrous.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. leeintulsa

    @coffeeclue: maybe.. Some of my relatives were instrumental in liberating the concentration camps. And yes, i think the wermacht had some of the sharpest uniforms of all time.

    It really matters how they were dressed? Would it have been less horrible had they worn polos and chinos?

    September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ShaneB

    I guess we should ban Charlie Chaplain movies too now. I see no swastika..

    September 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ddddd

    who is hitler?

    September 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      that guy from those old movies about the depression

      September 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexasJewboy

      A mass murderer and despotic tyrant who tortured and killed 12 million people in concentration camps, half of them Jewish, who tried to take over the world. If he had succeeded you would be speaking German right now. Thank the US Military and our Allies in WWII that did not happen. For all of you small minded people out there, we complain because we are charged with making sure the world never forgets what happened in the hope that it will never happen again.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BobZemko

    That means I won't get my Albert Speer Slurpee Cup?

    September 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Moto

      That's right. Instead you will get the Dachau Easy Bake Oven set.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10