Thursday, March 15, 2007

AP. Jerusalem Post on the Taiwan Nazis

The Simon Weisenthal Center has an analysis of the Nazis in Taiwan in the Jerusalem Post:

The party envisioned by Lan is not the typical initiative by European anti-Semites with nostalgia for the Third Reich and definite anti-Jewish proclivities, but rather a completely different, much less dangerous, but still extremely worrying issue that we have failed to address adequately.

While high school and university courses in Taiwan cover European history, they clearly do not devote sufficient attention to the Holocaust and its universal implications. This also explains why in the relatively recent past, possibly well-intentioned if woefully ignorant Taiwanese entrepreneurs have used Nazi symbols and the likeness of Hitler to help publicize products or restaurants.

Most Europeans today have granted the Holocaust iconic status as the ultimate genocide and a watershed event in the annals of mankind, and share a revulsion to anything associated with the Nazis and their collaborators.

But in the Far East, there is little knowledge of the fate of European Jewry and almost no understanding of the deeply-rooted disgust most Europeans feel for Nazi images.

For obvious reasons, Israel and the Jewish world have focused most of our Holocaust education efforts in places where we assumed it was most needed. Asia, the Far East in particular, have basically been ignored.

The AP ran a story on them, quoting Emile Sheng. Haven't heard from him since he vanished into the Taipei City RDEC after Hau was elected. It seems the Tainazis want traditional values....

But Chao, studying for his a graduate degree in political science at Taipei's prestigious National Chengchi University (國立政治大學), denied he was anti-Jewish, and maintained his intention was to foster greater nationalism in Taiwan, an island of 23 million people off China's southeastern coast.

"My main goal is to develop Taiwan's strength and to foster national unity," Chao said. "I think we have to work hard to restore traditional Chinese values like Confucianism."



Interestingly enough, while the 3 English papers carried the Nazi story today, as far as I can tell only the Liberty Times bothered to translate the AP/Reuters news and put it on page 5 of the LT today, with color pic of old advert with Hitler image, good reporting in Chinese for readers nationwide. BUT the China Times, the United Daily News and the Snapple Daily did not report the AP/Reuters news today at all, as far as I can tell, although they also have access to intl wire services. Hmmm, amnesia? Or maybe they will cover the Saturday Nutsifest in Taichung with TVBS camera crew and big story in Sunday papers?

Above is Liberty Times story.

Haitien said...

I noticed a TVBS article on 蕃薯藤 which claimed that:


(The article also mentioned that the Nazi student movement in Taiwan has led to protests from international Jewish groups. This organization has released a statement condemming the Neo-Nazi movement in Taiwan and expressed it's belief that over-democratization was also the cause of social instability.)

I never saw any such attribution of social problems to "over-democratization" by any Jewish group on the AP or the Jerusalem Post article. The Simon Weisenthal Center doesn't have any statements on its website concerning the issue yet either. Exactly where the heck is TVBS getting this?


Michael Turton said...

I think the writer was editing too fast, and accidentally moved a sentence to the wrong spot, Hai Tien. "Over-democratization" is a theme the students have hit on.


Eli said...


As far as I can tell, the Apple Daily was the first to cover this story over the weekend.

Wayfarer said...

Interesting to see the name morph. "Lan" which they refer to in the article is actually Chao Wei, 趙威, whose internet handle is "Lahn" after the river in Germany. Same with reuter's report of the story which reported Hsu's internet handle "Joshua" 約書亞 as her real name -- "Yue Shu-ya".

I'm pretty sure that Apple led the charge on this wave of coverage. I talked to the reporter who wrote the piece and he said he came across the forum because of his interest in WWII history. But the phenomeonon is not new. Chao was featured in a story in 2005 and he has told me that his group has moderated considerable over its years of existence. He seems eager to come across as moderate but I wonder how much of this is a front. Some of what he has written on the forum is not quite as nasty as Joshua's but plenty misguided.

Still, I'm afraid to say that the Simon Weisenthal center is being optimistic when they characterize Lahn and his ilk as undereducated on european history. That's both letting him off too easily and giving him too little credit. "Lahn" is a political science masters student at National Chengchi university.

Battlepanda said...

Lest anyone end up thinking this "Lahn" guy is harmless, this is what he's saying on his forum, in the the non-publically available threads.




"The Elite is always in the minority...instead of allowing the direction of policy to be controled by the will of the people and the ignorant crowds, better let those who are expert take over. This is Elite governance."


You are right. APPLE DAILY was first out of the fire house last week, maybe ten days ago, with the first report in Taiwan on the group. That was followed a few days later by a very good article in English in the Taiwan News on Saturday last. Then the Taipei Times a day later. You are right, APPLE DAILY was there first. But nothing today, no translation of the AP or Reuters article. I was surprised that only the Liberty Times ran the story today. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Why do they choose Nazism? I thought Fascism are closer to what they meant? Maybe saying that you want to be Hitler is better than saying you want to be Mussolini.

Haitien said...

It's likely that they chose Nazism over Fascism because:

a) More people have heard of Hitler compared to Mussolini.

b) The Nazi's had spiffier uniforms.

Anonymous said...


Can I add that people studies at National Chengchi University is hardly elite (it ranks what number in world university ranking?) I know people who graduated from UCSD then Ph.D. Caltech found the word "elite" extremely offending.