December 28, 2016

"A high school parade in Taiwan in which students dressed as Nazi soldiers and carried swastika banners has created a storm of criticism in one of Asia’s most open societies."

"Hsinchu Kuang-Fu High School in Hsinchu City held the parade, which focused on Adolf Hitler, as part of the school’s anniversary celebrations on Friday."
The parade also featured cardboard tanks. The students chose the theme, according to local news reports....

[The school’s principal, Cheng Hsiao-ming] said that he took responsibility, adding that the primary issue was “our education’s problem,” according to local news reports. “It wasn’t necessarily a problem created by the children."...

The parade in Hsinchu is not the first incident in which Nazi references have offended Jews and other groups in Taiwan. In 1999, an advertisement for German-manufactured DBK space heaters in Taiwan featured a smiling Hitler with the caption, “Declare war on the cold front!” The next year, a restaurant with a concentration camp theme opened, closing weeks after it became a source of outrage. ...

61 comments:

Mike Sylwester said...

Kids just want to have fun.

Meade said...

Spring [roll] time for Hitler and Germany...

Mary Beth said...

It sounds like they were marching to the "Imperial Theme" from Star Wars.

Mary Beth said...

The principal has resigned over it.

Liu said he had suggested the students make Arabic culture a theme for the parade on historical figures, but they decided to go with Adolf Hitler after two rounds of voting.

bagoh20 said...

Democracy is a bitch. LIV

YoungHegelian said...

There are quite a few cultures on the planet where Adolf Hitler is seen as a "colorful" character rather than the epitome of evil he is seen as in the West.

Hitler murdered millions of people? Well, welcome to east Asia, where millions of people get murdered by their governments on an alarmingly frequent basis. Hitler taught that the Germans were the Master Race? Well, that's just wrong. We Chinese (or Korean or Japanese) are the master race, & it's just obviously so. Hitler killed a lot of British, French, & Russians? Those are bad people, who colonized our countries, so they got from Hitler what they doled out to us.

See, it's easy to build such a narrative if your East Asian. And let's not even get started on the Arab countries where every word of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is seen just the plain truth of the matter.

Michael K said...

Agree with YoungHegelian.

MayBee said...

Asian history and culture tends to foucus in the Asia-centric aspects of WWII, where we focus on the European aftermath. How many American High school students know about Hong Kong being bombed and overtaken at the same time Pearl Harbor was attacked? Or about the rape of Nanking? Or even why Tawain exists as it does today?

LCB said...

In the scale modeling world, some of the best manufacturers are based in Asia. They make a LOT of models of German planes, tanks and ships from the World War II era, which tells me their local market must love the stuff. They've even started making "what if" German tanks that were on the drawing board but never built. (Modelers in the US love German stuff too...but I don't think as highly as the Asian market.)

I've always wondered (since the '70's) about this. Could this fascination with German WW II subjects be a result of a "blind eye" to the atrocities of the Nazi regime?

As for myself, I long ago decided I would only model German vehicles in a 'losing' display: German vehicle destroyed or captured by the Allies. When I was a youth my uncle asked me why I was building a German King Tiger tank. I could tell he disapproved, but didn't understand why. Now I do...

fivewheels said...

Ah, I see it's time for the left to take weird, random incidents to demonize the Taiwanese as racists, lest the Trump administration do something horrible like support a democracy trying to live freely under existential threat from a Communist dictatorship.

rhhardin said...

It's a really boring outrage. It probably displaces something more outrage-worthy in current history, like a UN vote.

rcocean said...

Jews in Taiwan are "offended". How many is that? Two?

rcocean said...

I wonder how many Chinese in Taiwan, who escaped Mao's butchery in 1949 and had relatives killed or jailed during the "Cultural Revolution" were "offended" by American leftists carrying Mao's little red book and chattering what a great man he was.

Lyle Smith said...

Taiwanese folks are funny.

Greg Hlatky said...

Do they still use Wade-Giles for Taiwan? Pinyin is standard now on the Mainland.

Anglelyne said...

LCB: I've always wondered (since the '70's) about this. Could this fascination with German WW II subjects be a result of a "blind eye" to the atrocities of the Nazi regime?

See YoungHegelian's comment, above. History is full of mass murderers and atrocities. Our obsessions aren't their obsessions. Why should they be?

As a Westerner, what I find more interesting is the continuing "blind eye" that many, many Westerners still turn to communist atrocities. It's one thing to be indifferent to historical events, it's another to turn one particular mass murderer into Eternal Satan, and make non-stop freaking out over him and his regime the standard of human decency, all the while treating others of his ilk as heroes or harmless t-shirt/dorm-room poster jokes.

As for myself, I long ago decided I would only model German vehicles in a 'loosing' display:

What are they "loosing"? Hell? Their bowels? Sorry, pet peeve of mine. Losing, LCB, losing.

Unknown said...

So the Principal suggested some sort of Islamic tribute, and the kids said "Shoot, if we are going to honor a violent culture dedicated to eradicating Jews, we might as well just go straight to Hitler."

Makes sense. I think that, while not widely known, we can thank the Palestinian Muslims for the Final Solution. HItler and Nazi Germany were trying to organize some sort of massive "ship the Jews to Madagascar" bit, but then the "Grand Mufti" of Jerusalem visited and suggested just killing them all, and Hitler said, "why not?"

With that kind of pedigree, is there any real difference between marching along in a swastika shouting "Heil Hitler!" or marching along in a turban shouting "Allah Akbar!"

--Vance

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I lived in Asia for over 5 years, most of it in Japan, some in Korea. They simply don't share our cultural assumptions concerning WWII. And they don't see any reason why they should.

EDH said...

Wonton Soup Nazis?

Lyle Smith said...

I studied abroad in Germany and a Korean student did a playful Nazi salute when we came across the Hitler diaries on display at a Bonn museum. The Korean student and I laughed, but our German teacher did not. The teacher was a bit shocked, but in that moment I like to think that he realized other people deal with Hitler in their own way.

mikee said...

Hitler fought Communists, despite the amazingly similar totalitarianism their separate socialisms created. This has been confusing to Leftists ever since, who know Hitler was bad but who therefore think Communists must have been OK, somehow. Non-communists threatened by Communists, like those on Taiwan, get confused by it every once in a while, too.

William said...

Young Hegelian writes a credible scenario of Hitler's appeal there. What I don't understand is the concentration camp theme restaurant. What's the appeal there? Gluten free?....I would rather eat in an Indian restaurant than in a concentration camp one.

JAORE said...

"Liu said he had suggested the students make Arabic culture a theme for the parade on historical figures, but they decided to go with Adolf Hitler after two rounds of voting."

Po TAY to
Po TAH to

Hagar said...

China is like the U.S. If something exists, there are at least a few examples of it in China.
The oldest mosque in the East still stands in Canton, and it was built when the Prophet was still alive.
The Soong sisters, Ching Ling, the Communist dowager empress, and May Ling, the Nationalist empress, were firm Southern Methodists and spoke English with the Georgia (our Georgia) accent they learned in their youth.

Hagar said...

And they dearly loved each other while doing their level best to defeat each other's party.

Scott said...

Young Hegelian nailed it. Again, we tend to look at the world through our own cultural matrix, and are at best casually aware of the different viewpoint of other cultures. To us, Hitler's an example of evil, but to people outside the immediate area affected by him, his reputation is far more ambiguous and in some corners of the world considered praiseworthy (looking at you, Arab world).

I'd also throw in how many of us know about the 20-30 million Chinese killed in the Taiping Rebellion from 1850-1864? Or for that matter the 3-13 million people killed by Leopold II of Belgium when he founded the Belgian Congo from 1885-1908?

campy said...

"[...] Kuang-Fu High School"

Everybody was kuang-fu fighting / those kicks were fast as lightning / In fact it was a little bit frightening / But they fought with expert timing.

Oso Negro said...

It's all swell to be multi-cultural as long as you stick to cuisine, clothes, and folk dance. The rest of it gets icky very quickly.

whitney said...

Hitler is admired in India as someone who had a vision and carried it through. I don't know if the know all the specifics

lemondog said...

They simply don't share our cultural assumptions concerning WWII.

I don’t share Chinese or Russian cultural assumptions but the mass murder by the Mao and Stalin regimes is beyond revulsion.

I am interested in knowing why the students chose the Nazi/Hitler theme. Was there a clear rationale or did they just think the uniforms and goose stepping were cool...

walter said...

Um..not being aware of another country's historical event/atrocity is not the same as embracing Hitler/Nazi culture as entertainment.

They're lovin' it..

walter said...

I wonder how cheeky the menu was..

JML said...

whitney said...
Hitler is admired in India as someone who had a vision and carried it through.

Not totally through, but with some recent help from the UN, Iran, and Obama....it might happen...

Fernandinande said...

rcocean said...
Jews in Taiwan are "offended". How many is that? Two?


I guessed one, so I was wronger than you.

300 Jews out of 25 million.

exhelodrvr1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buwaya puti said...

Ditto, of course, Young Hegelian.
To expand, there were always very few Jews in East Asia, and though they could be individually very influential, there was never much of a community. The largest Jewish community in East Asia, ever, was probably in Manila in the 1930s, which had several thousand from Germany and the Middle East drawn by the US connection and the economic opportunity of the time. It had several synagogues in what was then a cosmopolitan city, or possibly Shanghai, which had a large number of refugees from Hitler, plus Jews mixed in with the "White Russians" of the 1920s.
But that dissolved post war due to emigration, and the same goes for Shanghai. So locally there isn't anyone to offend.
Modern communications opens local silliness to particularist issues of every sort, you are risking the rage of anyone anywhere. It is a bit difficult to keep track of what is likely to offend whom, and we are barely scratching the surface of this.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Wow - Trump's influence is much wider than I realized!!

JAORE said...

"Who remembers the Armenians?"

- A.H.

buwaya puti said...

Nazis were always cool because they were stylish. This works even in the West, Tamiya was extremely popular even in the US.
It's the same reason westerners like Samurai, and teenage boys buy badly made katana-replicas.

buwaya puti said...

A distillation of the Japanese mind and point of view on WW2 nostalgia in modern youth obsessions -
"Girls und Panzer" anime, excerpts on YouTube. Teenage uniformed schoolgirls warring with each other in WW2 tanks.
Also the extremely popular games World of Tanks and War Thunder, in which you can play with Tiger tanks, etc.

walter said...

Well...if there aren't Jews there, gotta cut them some slack.
WTF

walter said...

Maybe Laslo knows what was on that menu..

Mary Beth said...

I am interested in knowing why the students chose the Nazi/Hitler theme. Was there a clear rationale or did they just think the uniforms and goose stepping were cool...

12/28/16, 11:30 AM


From the article I linked to before:

"Some students said they thought their creativity would make them the focus of the parade, adding that Hitler being responsible for the death of millions of innocent people had not crossed their minds.

Others said they chose Hitler because they could easily convert their school uniforms into Nazi uniforms by making minor changes, which meets the criteria for a cosplay event.

Asked if the school has a say in the themes chosen by the students, the school administration said that students would only be told that the themes should not involve blood or violence, adding that students would often reveal limited details to teachers as they considered the “result of their creativity” top secret."

I blame Trump. No one would be paying attention to Taiwan if he hadn't taken that phone call.

Paco Wové said...

It's the uniforms, of course. With the Nazis it's always about the uniforms.

"confusing to Leftists ever since, who know Hitler was bad but who therefore think Communists must have been OK, somehow..."

Yeah, interesting how the "anti-fascists" always turn out to be totalitarian commie thugs.

tim maguire said...

It can't be taboo forever, but it can be taboo during the lifetimes of the victims. Come back in 25 or 30 years and let's see where we are.

n.n said...

Western liberals held a fascination, reverence, really, for Mao Tse-tung. Perhaps it too was a satire.

Kirk Parker said...

YH,

"And let's not even get started on the Arab countries where every word of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is seen just the plain truth of the matter. "

"There was no Holocaust--And they should should have done a more thorough job of it!"

ken in tx said...

In the late 80s, I lived in South Korea for two years. A Nazi themed cafe opened in Seoul with Hitler posters and swastikas everywhere. I asked a Korean co-worker about it. He said that Koreans see Hitler as a strong leader for his people, not necessarily as a villain. Killing your enemies is what strong leaders do.

BTW, Chaing Kia-shek's Nationalist Chinese (later Taiwan) army was trained by Germans and they did goose step when on parade. A fact which annoyed Pres. Truman, and might have partially led him to withhold US support from the Nationalists in the late 40s, and resulted in Mao's victory on mainland China.

PS-Swastika is a Hindi word. The Germans called it Das Hakken Cruz--the crooked cross.

Alex said...

Why do you think "The Man in the High Castle" is so popular? People love looking at stylish Nazi uniforms.

walter said...

"He said that Koreans see Hitler as a strong leader for his people, not necessarily as a villain."
To which you replied... Or was it a culturally sensitive nod?

Bill Peschel said...

This is objectionable because of cultural appropriation, is that it?

LCB said...

Anglelyne said: What are they "loosing"? Hell? Their bowels? Sorry, pet peeve of mine. Losing, LCB, losing.

Dang, you were just too fast. I deleted and re-posted within 5 minutes just to fix that. I do know the difference...but sometimes my fingers don't follow my commmmmands. :-)

John said...

Blogger Scott said...

I'd also throw in how many of us know about the 20-30 million Chinese killed in the Taiping Rebellion from 1850-1864? Or for that matter the 3-13 million people killed by Leopold II of Belgium when he founded the Belgian Congo from 1885-1908?

Amen to that but more on point, how many Americans know anything of the 6 million non-Jews who were murdered in the National Socialist death camps?

In my experience, damned few, though everyone knows about the 6 million Jews murdered there.

I am pretty well read in history, knew quite a bit about the death camps and the 6 million Jews but did not know how many non-Jews had been murdered as well until perhaps 20-25 years ago.

We are not taught about them. They are not discussed in the DC Holocaust Museum.

When I have mentioned in in other venues I have generally gotten 2 responses:

1) Denial, it never happened. It is propaganda and so on. Pretty much the same response and the same words as deniers of the Jewish Holocaust use.

2) Mainly from Jews I get arguments along the lines that mentioning the others is anti-semitic or that mentioning it somehow lessens the tragedy of the Jews. When I ask why not mentioning it doesn't diminish the tragedy of the other 6 million victims, I either get no answer or am accused of being difficult.

How many know of the genocide of the Polish people by the National Socialists? 3 million murdered in the camps, countless others starved and otherwise killed. Libraries, schools, church and baptismal records, court records, parliamentary proceedings and much more destroyed going back hundreds of years. The goal was to destroy not only Polish culture but even the idea that they ever had a culture. Poles were to be taught to be farmers. No schooling, no reading and writing. Complete and utter destruction.

Anyone here learn any of that in school? Anyone here see that in books, magazines, TV, movies etc?

Yeah, me neither.

John Henry

John said...

The National Socialists murdered 12mm in their camps. Stalin murdered 20-30mm in his. Mao murdered 40-50-60mm (nobody even knows) of his people.

We revere these folks in the US. They were trying to establish a better society and you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. (Why can't we say the same about Hitler's National Socialists? They were just trying to make a better society too)

We have college kids going around waving Mao's red book. We may think they are silly or stupid but nobody really gets upset. It's not like they had a Swastika on their shirt. Or we have people, in our own government, who thought of that ghoul Stalin as "Uncle Joe". You know, the uncle who used to give you a quarter when you were a kid. Nice fellow and all.

No problem wearing a picture of the murderous Che in polite company.

Castro improved education and health care in Cuba. (And I can make you a deal on a bridge across the East River)

Does anyone even know who Pol Pot is?]

Some Chinese kids want to glorify Hitler? When we get around to condemning all these other folks who were so much worse, maybe I will get amped up about it.

John Henry

Alex said...

John - you hang around some odious people.

Anglelyne said...

LCB: Dang, you were just too fast. I deleted and re-posted within 5 minutes just to fix that. I do know the difference...but sometimes my fingers don't follow my commmmmands. :-)

Lol. Don't you hate those days when some pedantic tight ass's trigger finger is on the same thread as your insubordinate digit?

Steven said...

Hitler fought Communists, despite the amazingly similar totalitarianism their separate socialisms created. This has been confusing to Leftists ever since, who know Hitler was bad but who therefore think Communists must have been OK, somehow.

Actually, you're the one who's confused. The reason Leftists know Hitler was bad is because he fought Communists. The Leftists were on Stalin's side against Hitler years before WWII, when Stalin had killed millions and Hitler had killed mere thousands . . . and they were temporarily on Hitler's side 1939-1941, when Hitler's body count was going up but he and Stalin were bound together by a pact.

mikee said...

I agree, Leftists have always loved their murderous totalitarians (who weren't real socialists or communists, of course, just faking it, apparently). I was trying to be a bit humorous in giving the Leftist rationale for denouncing Hitler, while not denouncing more murderous Leftists.

mockturtle said...

Mikee, it has always been a mystery to me why Hitler is always held up as the epitome of evil but Stalin is not, even though Stalin killed many more of his own people. I can only conclude Leftist bias.

Mac McConnell said...

The left held Hitler and Stalin in high esteem till Hitler invaded Russia. I their eyes communism trumped socialism.

Mac McConnell said...

"Others said they chose Hitler because they could easily convert their school uniforms into Nazi uniforms by making minor changes, which meets the criteria for a cosplay event."

This most likely explains it.