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Hitler lookalike on key rings, magnets on sale in Taiwan 7-Eleven

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It’s not a mustache, but a tooth,” she said, referring to a black square in the middle of the figure’s face.

Just observing, the black square is a mustache, not a tooth, similar to Hitler's. The two things at the side are vampire teeth. I agree that on the whole, the images don't look like Hitler, and it's a stretch to say the symbols are "reminiscent of the Nazis’ swastika banners." They look nothing like swastikas, though they are red and white.

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Doesn't really look like Hitler. Is everything with a small black mustache now related to Hitler and must be banned? Because Micheal Jordan was sporting one a few years ago. Suppose he looks like Hitler then, too.

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So what no big deal people. Many people used to and use the "toothbrush" beard, yeah that's it real name and it is a worldwide recognised beard style.

No mistaken the Dollar-sign for a Swastika either. Could also be a copy of the 777 logo from South Africa, etc.

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On the other hand, the brown shirt and red and white armband do look a bit familiar....

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It's a little sensitive. Nobody batted an eyelid really outside JT when Hitler was used as a role model for speech-making on J-TV a few weeks ago. Maybe just people taking more notice of other Asian countries these days?

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And I am appalled that Israel is running one of the biggest concentration camps in the world-Palestine!

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I don't buy the "tooth" explanation at all. There are two teeth (fangs?) situated below the mouth and they aren't similar at all.

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Looks more like Kato Cha with vampire teeth than Hitler. Too fat for Hitler. Hitler didn't have a barcode, either.

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The swastika is a symbol used very widely in the Hindu religion which has a 3000+year history.

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That's not a tooth, it's a beauty mark.

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Of course Hitler was a big Charlie Chaplin fan. That's why he chose that style mustache. So you could say they are Charlie Chaplin lookalikes.

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The producer did nazi that coming.

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Isn't it missing a bowler hat and cane?

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If you haven't seen "The Dictator" by Charles Chaplin you had got to see it. One of the best political movies ever. An eye opener.

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ok, Israel and Germany, calm down and stop overreacting. Doesn't look like Hitler--looks like a middle-aged Chinese man with bad teeth and a moustache. People are way too sensitive and PC-conscious these days.

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I am a Jew but that is not offensive in my eyes.

I am more offended when Beat Takeshi wears the Hitler mustache and proceeds to physically and mentally abuse people on line tv.

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Mark Lee, the Taiwanse blogger who created the cartoon figure, staunchly defended himself to the AFP reporter Benjamin Yeh in Taipei, saying he had ''no intention'' of promoting Nazi thinking.

"I had hoped to use it to satirise some bosses. In the eyes of disgruntled employees, many bosses are greedy and dictatorial and like vampires trying to suck money from them," Lee told AFP.

Mark Lee the designer admitted to the AFP that he did base the cartoonish doll on Hitler but that he was using satire and irony as an artist to lampoon what the label on the packge says in Chinese is "the boss is angry" so the Hitlerish cartoon is not really meant to be Hitler per se, or a slap in the face of Germans today or Jews or Holocaust survivors, but as he said, merely a Taiwanese designers take on Hitler as a dictatorial brutish BOSS and the diollar sign armband is to signify that the boss only cares about MONEY and the office workers must toil for the hated boss.

so from a Taiwanese POV, the cartoon is harmless and funny and cute. Most Tawiaense do not even see Hitler in the face. I asked a college student shopping in the local 711 last night what he saw in the alleged Hitler doll face and he for two mintues he could not answer or say any name of any person.....then I sugggested ....'''what about Hitler'?', and THEN he got it quickly but he also said ....''it was just cute and funny' and KUSO' to him and he had no real knowledge of Euro history, so no big deal...and much about nothing.

very negative reactions in one UK newspaper say ''the whole thing is a beeswax story on a slow day and the doll no more looks like Hitler than Charlie Chaplin and everyone should just chill out and relax and drink some more Forster's'' beer...

UPDATE: Mark Lee the design also told AFP that he is getting calls and emails from many news outlets now and he does not understand why some people are so upset about all this, and he is depressed now and might lose his business over this. He said he did use Hitler at the model for the cartoonish doll but in a satirucal ironic way and not in any way to desecrate the memory of Holocaust survivors or German nationals in 2011..... he is very upset about the all the brouhaha over this, and simply does not get it. Then again, most Tawianese don't get it either. It's nothing to them......same thing could happen in Tokyo, often does, those books about "Jews control world money supply etc" and that writer for Marco Polo mag a few years ago who denied the Holocaust ever took place.... and Nazi era themes for bars, pubs and advertisements and local politics crop all the time in Japan, Taiwan, Indian, Thailand....it's an Asia thing: Hitler has no meaning in Asia. He's just a ......a caricature...... BUT don't say that to a German or a Jew or a Holocaust survivor......but yeh, maybe a slow news day on MONDAY in Taiwan? could be.

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I can recall very specifically maybe a half dozen instances in American comedies and television where a disgruntled employee holds two fingers to his mouth and goose steps back and forth behind the back of an irate authority figure... and nobody ever gets in an uproar about that.

What's the difference here?

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HumanTarget, there's a subtle difference.

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Taiwan's Hitler debacle ..

written in 2001....ten years ago......

By Laurence Eyton

TAIPEI - That young people tend to be more liberal than their parents is probably a truism. That liberal-leaning political parties should therefore assiduously court the votes of young people is simply common sense. But Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has chosen a rather strange new icon in its campaign for the youth vote in legislative elections this December - Adolf Hitler. Cases of cross-cultural misunderstanding rarely come richer than this.

The DPP's intention was to make a television commercial to encourage young film makers to help the party make more commercials targeting young voters in the upcoming election. The thrust of the commercial is to get the film makers to express themselves boldly while of course working with the DPP. During the commercial, four leaders appear for a few seconds, Hitler, the US president John F Kennedy, Cuba's Fidel Castro and Taiwan's own former president Lee Teng-hui. The DPP said it chose this oddly assorted bunch for "having the courage to speak up without fear of confrontation".

"We chose them for their bold characteristics. This has no other purpose, such as promoting authoritarianism," Juan Chao-hsiung, director of the DPP's youth department, told reporters after the commercial's unveiling to the press last week.

Answering charges that many might think the commercial to be in bad taste, Phoenix Cheng, director of the party's cultural and information department told the Taipei Times, "We thought about the negative impact of presenting Hitler's image, but felt that it was presented with a sense of humor and would not be associated with the Jews."

The commercial was to be screened on domestic TV channels for the first time last Thursday. By the time of its first showing, the party had already been deluged by protests, many of them from abroad. The presentation with "a sense of humor" was thought not so amusing. Even worse was an explanation from Cheng's department that these figures had been chosen because they were "sound" political figures.

In Taiwan, Israel's representative Menashe Zipori condemned the commercial for its insensitivity, as did a leading rabbi, while Yang Huang Mei-hsin, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, herself a DPP stalwart, said she was appalled. But soon the big foreign guns came into play, including the Anti-Defamation League in New York and the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which lodged a protest with Taiwan's representative to Washington, the center's associate dean calling the DPP's behavior "historic and cultural insensitivity" which was "no longer acceptable". Meanwhile the press - particularly the English-language newspapers - received a torrent of outraged mail.

Many of the letters echoed the same theme - that the DPP was a party created out of the suffering of the Taiwanese people under the ruthless tyranny of the Chiang Kai-shek Kuomintang (KMT) or Nationalist regime and it, of all parties, should understand that images of tyranny should not be trivialized.

The DPP went on the defensive and in doing so managed not only to completely contradict its earlier assertions about the content of the commercial but adopted an attitude at best insultingly patronizing, at worst reeking of chauvinism.

Phoenix Cheng marshaled an army of rather dubious excuses. First he claimed that it was all a result of foreigners not understanding Mandarin Chinese - despite the fact that there are several thousand fluent foreign speakers of Mandarin on the island as well as a considerable number of overseas Chinese brought up abroad who are bilingual and, of course, that some protests came from Taiwanese themselves.

"There is nothing wrong with the film but it contains messages that foreigners cannot understand. The film was made for local Mandarin-speaking viewers who would never object to it as they have sufficient understanding of what we are promoting," Cheng said.

Continuing this astonishingly inept piece of spin control, Cheng said that the commercial continued a contrast between the "false political stance" of Hitler and Castro and the "positive" ones of Lee and Kennedy.

Tien Hsin, the DPP's director of international affairs, however, claimed that the purpose of the film's imagery was to exhort young people not to let outdated political figures speak for them - a spectacularly inept gaffe considering that the DPP is trying to enter into an alliance with followers of Lee for the December elections as well as contradicting both the party's original line about the commercial's imagery and Cheng's later spin.

The problem with Cheng's argument was that Taiwanese who watched the ad saw no evidence whatsoever of a line being drawn between the "false" and "positive" political influences, nor did staff of the German Cultural Center in Taipei who, for obvious reasons, watched the ad with great attention.

The DPP, however, insisted it had no intention of either dropping or changing the ad. It might just have brazened the issue out - probably at great cost to the party's international image - had not Lee Teng-hui himself come out at the weekend to say he objected strongly to being in the same lineup as Hitler.

"Pursuing democracy, freedom and human rights has been a lifetime goal. Showing images of me together with a dictator could lead to a misperception of values," said the grand old man of Taiwan's democratic reform.

Probably as a result of Lee's objections, the DPP showed a modified version of the ad on Monday in which the words "authoritarian rule led to catastrophe" were superimposed over Hitler's image while "democracy should speak up" were superimposed over the image of Kennedy.

It would, however, be wrong to think that the reaction to the DPP's ad was all condemnatory. By the time Lee spoke out against it the initial onslaught of condemnation, much of it foreign, was being met with a spirited defense.

Much of this was centered around anger that foreigners should presume to tell Taiwanese what symbolism and images they can and cannot use in their own country where they have a constitutional right to freedom of speech.

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I think most people from Taiwan wouldn't even know what Hitler looks like?

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The URL will suffice, thank you.

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'Nazi Bar' Amazing

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I think most people from Taiwan wouldn't even know what Hitler looks like?

Like Hirohito, but with Tojo's eyes.

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“I find it tragic that once again people (in) marketing and promotion fail to recognize the meaning of the dark age in human history the Nazi dictator represents,”

It's nearly as tragic that people misinterpret things and make such a fuss over them that the item will end up being more popular than if the person hadn't misinterpreted it or applied their own meaning to it in the first place.

The "It's a tooth" thing is ludicrous, as even in the picture you can see two teeth (fangs) in the corners of the mouth, and the black square is separated from the mouth itself, but otherwise I see nothing wrong with this. Some people will read anything into something, or see something as something else when it is not.

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This looks no more like hitler than charlie chaplin does

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It doesn't even look like hitler. More importantly there is rel racism in Asia. When are foreigners going to get the right to vote? We all talk about MLK but foreigners in Japan stil have no civil rights. That's real racism, not this stupid doll.

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So pretty soon there's gonna be a complaint against Shonen Jump for the "Kochi-Kame" (Kochira Katsushika-Ku Kameari Ko-en Mae Hashutsujyo)'s Ryotsu's boss character, Ohara Bucho....

As for foreign citizen rights to vote, that's a wrong thread. It's also stupid to give voting rights without obligations of citizenship.

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t doesn't even look like hitler. More importantly there is rel racism in Asia. When are foreigners going to get the right to vote? We all talk about MLK but foreigners in Japan stil have no civil rights. That's real racism, not this stupid doll.

Foreigners shouldnt have the right to vote. Want that right? Become a citizen.

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UPDATE: 7-Eleven chain store in Taiwan recalls Hitler key chain, doll. Game over

To make a long story short, after the wire services ran a story about a convenience store chain in Taiwan selling cartoonish images modelled after what appeared to be a Hitler face and armband, although modified as a parody and not designed to promote Nazi thinking, the chain store's CEO decided to recall the items from all 4,500 stores nationwide. Game over.

However, it took a few days of follow-up news reports from the Agence France-Press news agency, the Deutsche Press-Agentur German News agency, Taiwan's own Central News Agency, the Chinese-language Liberty Times and CNN for the recall to be finalized. But did anyone in Taiwan learn anything from this Hitler brouhaha? Probably not. Another Hitler cartoon or parody sighting will occur again, within the year, and always with the same naive and innocent intentions.

There is no antisemitism in Taiwan; repeat: there is no antisemitism in Taiwan. But there is a lack of education in schools and in society at large about issues such as the Holocaust or the Nazi period in Europe. And the lack of education is not just about Jewish or Israeli history, it's also concerns ignorance about events taking place far away in Africa or Europe or South America. Remember, Taiwan is a small island nation just off the coast of China, just south of Japan, and while it boasts one of the most hospitable and friendly people on the face on the Earth, due its own history as an island batted back and forth between neighboring Asian powers -- and long ago by the Dutch and the French and the Spanish, not to mention the American presence during the Vietnam War period -- Taiwan is a very unique place.

Blogger Mark Lee, who designed of the recent Hitler items, admitted 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 dollar-sign armband and, in one version, has its arm raised in the fashion of the iconic Nazi salute. Lee told reporters that the doll was meant to represent a dictatorial angry boss, and the whole thing was a parody. He said he loves Israel and he loves the Jewish people, and he meant no harm at all. But now he has learned a lesson, at least on a personal level, and that's good.

"I wanted to use it to satirize some bosses,” Lee told Agence France-Presse (AFP). “In the eyes of disgruntled employees, many bosses are greedy and dictatorial and like vampires trying to suck money from them. I was actually making fun of Hitler, mocking him. I know who he was, of course, he was a very evil man."

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