During the time I’ve been living in Taiwan, I’ve occasionally been shocked at the way Hitler is portrayed here. His image has been used by (completely ignorant) marketers, and there have been occasional restaurants and exhibitions themed in a way that could never happen in many countries. A couple of years ago, a Chinese video game of the same genre as Civilization had Hitler as one of the playable characters. Still, it came as a shock when I heard that a group of college students here have actually formed a Nazi association.

Hsu, who graduated from the political department of Soochow University last year, noted that she was so fed up with all the political wrangling between the ruling and opposition parties that she and several other followers of Nazi ideology decided to found the association.

It is hoped that they could transform Taiwan into a Nazi country, said Hsu.

The association’s views on current policies and events, Nazi philosophy and an introduction to Hitler can be found on its Web site, which has “Do not come in if you dislike Hitler” emblazoned on the home page.

Taiwan News Online: Students found group hailing Hitler

I don’t know that much about Taiwan’s laws regarding the protection of free speech, but it seems likely that they resemble the those of the US more than those of most European countries- at least on this issue. What’s surprising is how little media attention it’s gotten. I just searched the Taipei Times for anything about this story. Despite the fact that it’s the largest English language paper here, there wasn’t even a single mention of it.

Update: The Taipei Times has finally written about this topic. It’s almost as if they were reading my blog. The article also includes an excerpt from an interview with a man from Neihu, who hangs a swastika outside his window:

“Taiwan used to be a part of the axis as a part of Japan,” he said. “Who did more for Taiwan than Goto Shinpei as the governor-general?”

“When the KMT came, they were the brutal occupiers, they oppressed the Taiwanese,” the man said.

Asked if he believed he would have fit in society if Taiwan were still under Japanese occupation, the man replied: “I am in contact with hard-right [sic] elements in Japan … they all love Taiwanese people. If the KMT did not take over Taiwan, I believe that in time we would have been accepted as Japanese.”

The Taipei Times: `Nazi’ group seeks NGO status