My friend told me he went through Banqiao Train Station yesterday and saw a store selling Nazi and SS paraphernalia. Anyone seen this?
Three or four years ago I would have signed, shaken my head, and kept walking. If I saw this today I would complain to the manager, take pictures, and contact Apple Daily, then ask the German rep office in Taipei to send some informational reading to the ignoramus selling this stuff.
hmmm, I don’t know if nazi paraphernalia holds the same taboo like in western countries. I’m not sure why, but I find most people in Taiwan pretty ignorant about history in general. I know they don’t even began to teach history until the 4th or 5th grade. I would just find it strange. Although I find Nazi war relics interesting, I have a fascination with the 2nd world war, modern day paraphernalia is just unnecessary.
Same in south America, some people over there associate the swastika with the European punk movement somehow. Personally I really didn’t realize how much people in the US are afraid/hateful of until I watched Nazi jokes on 30 Rock. There were a lot of genocides last century and is horrible and deplorable, but Nazis are specially bad for US because Israel got them by the balls. And don’t call me antisemitic for that, is just the way it looks to me. But I think you should do all those things you said, specially the go and see it by yourself.
I mean so what? The money is not going to found Hitler’s kickstarter or something like that.
I don’t know about the place the OP mentioned, but I know there’s an “American” restaurant in Banqiao called Rockmill (岩磨坊) that has on its menu 納粹萬歲麵 (Long Live the Nazis pasta).
To be fair, a news report was done last year about this place, questioning the appropriateness of the name of this dish. The last line of the report was interesting. Perhaps underscoring the local lack of knowledge about history, the store operators felt this way: 取名的業者苦笑，當時只想吸引消費者注意，所以沒想那麼多，或許台灣離德國有些距離，民眾感觸沒那麼深 (Basically: The operators only wanted to attract the customer’s attention, so they didn’t think too much; perhaps because Taiwan is so far from Germany, people would feel less strongly about it).
The very last words of the reporter give some hope, though: 但某些創意還是不要用，比較保險！(But no matter how creative, it’s safer not to use such a term!)
Hok, while I totally understand where you’re coming from and fully agree with you that the public display of Nazi symbols is a disgrace in any country, I don’t think contacting Apple Daily would have much of an effect. You probably know that using Nazi symbols is not per se illegal in many (or most) jurisdictions. If this happened in Germany or Austria, for example, then you could report the shop owner to the police because using Nazi symbols in public constitutes a crime under the local laws. Not so in Taiwan though, for apparent historical reasons, which is why not many people seem to care as much. So complaining to Apple Daily or the police will probably not help.
I’d be curious to know what you would do if you saw the same thing happen in your neighborhood in California. Would you also consider calling a local paper or TV station to report on it? Interestingly, Nazi symbols are also legal in the US and even Israel, which seems paradox: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post%E2%8 … Nazi_flags
We’ve got a good conversation going here. In order:
TexMex – you asked a great question. What happened? I just decided that there are things that are right and wrong on my moral compass, and I’m no longer willing to give Nazi sympathizers the benefit of the doubt. They are either outrageously ignorant or outrageously bigoted. I would honestly sit that shop owner down over a cup of coffee and explain why it is so truly awful to be promoting that particular brand of hate. If I saw someone in California selling imperial Japanese navy flags, I’d want to do the same thing. I pray that we won’t see idiots 50 years from now waving Islamic State flags just for fun.
tango42 – I didn’t see it. My friend is (sort of) ABC so… I’m pretty sure he’d recognize Buddhist stuff from Nazi stuff.
GC – It is legal to show swastikas in Taiwan, and it should be. This is basic freedom of expression. But freedom of expression is not freedom from the consequences of that expression and it certainly does not mean that people who are deeply disgusted by that behavior need to just suck it up and move on. Apple and other media have reported on things like this before, like the Myriad-Year-Nazi-Noodles up above and the 2011 incident where Taiwanese soldiers dressed in Nazi uniform just for fun. Basically, I want the media to shame these people for not knowing a thing about history before they cozy up to a genocidal maniac. The more embarrassing the better.
I grew up with a bunch of Nazi daggers hanging on the wall. There was also a big swastika (think it was German navy) and a bunch of other bits and pieces. Some were war souvenirs from relatives. Others had been bought in antique shops.
I don’t get the attraction of being constantly offended.
[quote=“Kiwi”]I grew up with a bunch of Nazi daggers hanging on the wall. There was also a big swastika (think it was German navy) and a bunch of other bits and pieces. Some were war souvenirs from relatives. Others had been bought in antique shops.
I don’t get the attraction of being constantly offended.[/quote]
It starts with the Swastika because it is a symbol of ultimate evil and if we aren’t vigilant it sneaks back into use and ignorant people rally behind it and we get to repeat history. Its got nothing to do with any pro-Israel Jewish lobby in the USA, that is irrelevant. Its got nothing to do with Boer concentration camps or H block prisoners or whatever else you want to trot out in a feeble attempt to argue other flags have evil overtones.
Tonight my curiosity got the better of me, so I went over to the train station and had a look around. Now, that place is large, it has various stores, I didn’t look very thoroughly, it was getting close to closing time for at least some of the stores, and my powers of observation are not that good. So no dice on that for me tonight.
However, I was only in what I consider to be the train station proper; I may very well have underestimated the scope of the term “Banqiao Train Station.”
I did find something by Googling and clicking, but I’m not sure that it’s what’s being discussed, especially since I haven’t found a specific address (maybe it’s staring me in the face, but I don’t see it), and I don’t know Chinese.
But anyway, here’s what I found by Googling and clicking, with some help (I think–I don’t remember the specific process) from Google Translate (just to be on the safe side, I’m going to say the links below are [color=#FF0000]NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK[/color]):