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.

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

    i think the Hitler vampire is kinda cute.
    Also i think it was stupid to pull the thing, even if it was marketed as Hitler they really don't have the right to say that they cant sell it.

    September 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      There's a Facebook game called "Journey of Moses" and they added a mission to create a cross and the Jews are upset because it is there. It's not like the Christians crucified Jews on the Cross when it was the other way around by hunting Christians to be crucified.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      i find that hilarious. stupid, but hilarious.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John


    September 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike hunt

      i love that commic. its 2011, its time to get over it already!!!

      September 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Luke

    Thai school's parade represents something about Taiwan? Thai is Thailand, not Taiwan

    September 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. .AM.pm.

    We all know Hitler's ideas towards Marxism which is why it kinda made me laugh to see that one of the "Hitler Look-A-Like" products in the picture says, "My name is Mark." ......Of all names!!

    September 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Synapse

      Hitler was a Nazi [right wing- National Socialist] to become dictator. He was not a Marxist... in fact- his most dangerous enemy- the first to be able to successfully repulse his attacks, at great cost in lives- was the USSR- which was a Marxist [Communist] state.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uhhhh

      @Synapse: AMpm was implying exactly what you wrote: that Hitler was very against Marxism.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cole

    do they ever stop complaining?!?!?!?!?! it really is no wonder people can't stand them.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexasJewboy

      Not as long as there are people like you around.

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

      Agreed – get over it already! They are complaing on one side and doing the same thing that was done to them by Hitler to the residents of the occupied territories.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kris

    I'm surprised osme republicans don't rush over there to snap up all the remaining items.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tex71

    It seems that Taiwanese marketing execs think of Hitler as a likeable and endearing character. Not surprising seeing as how they are ultra-right-wing anti-regulation capitalists. Poster children for the Tea Party.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bunny

      yet they have free health care?

      September 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill in Florida

    I agree. The Hitler resemblance is spurious at best.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Synapse

    These same weasels posting "humorous" positive comments about one of history's leading mass murderers, show total disrespect for the over 180,000 Americans who SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES [in Europe, alone] to keep our country free enough for these posters to show their insensitivity and ignorance.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • André

      Go f* yourself.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DD

    Looks more like a middle aged Asian vampire.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. johnjohn

    Dude, seriously, I understand how the THAI parade NEEDS to be pulled but this cartoon character hardly resembles Hitler. So if I wear a brown coat and I happen to have a thick mustache and no goatie, I can be accused of resembling Hitler?

    September 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joseph

    Amen to that!

    September 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bowmanator

    I could be a clear representation of Hitler on purpose and I still wouldn't think they should be forced to pull it. I'm sick of groups having the power to censor people in this way. To me it's a form of Tyranny that undermines the original complaint. Knock it off "chosen people"!

    September 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buka Seluar


      September 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • André

      Well said.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Buka Seluar

    Uhmm... why is it being censored? Are Hitler images illegal or something? Let the free market decide – if people don't like them, then they won't buy them and they will be removed from the shelves. If people want them, let them buy them. There are (and were) plenty of evil people in the world; its ridiculous to censor any or all images of them. What happened to freedom of expression? Why do Jewish people seem to think its their calling in life to remind us about what Hitler did? Hitler caused the deaths of lots of people – not just Jews. The others have moved on... this isn't your onus.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • André

      It's just Jewish propaganda. The funny thing is, they think we aren't noticing.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trixibelle

      Who decided it looks like Hitler? It looks a bit like my Uncle George, but Hitler? nah

      September 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ammochief

    So I guess that means that any image of a man with a small mustache represents Hitler. Finally we'll be able to get rid of the anti-Semitic Charlie Chaplin movies that have poisoned our children's minds for over half a century. Israel get over it, every race of people has had extremely bad experiences throughout history. Learn from history so as not to repeat it but don't feel that this gives you any special rights.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @ammochief: Nothin against him if you're a big fan, but i doubt my kids have ever heard of charlie chaplin..

      September 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
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