Hair Salon Removes Swastika-Shaped Logo After Request From German Diplomats

The German Institute Taipei, the country's de facto embassy, asked a hair salon in northern Taiwan to remove a logo from its storefront because it resembled a Nazi swastika.

“In regards to the hairdressing salon in Hsinchu using Nazi swastikas as door signs, the German Institute Taipei states that using Nazi symbols for commercial purposes is a despicable act of offense against the victims of the Holocaust. We call upon the owner of the shop to immediately remove those Nazi signs,” the institute said in a statement released Sunday, according to Taipei Times.

GettyImages-161660453 Demonstrators hold a sign with a crossed-out swastika to protest against a far-right march marking the 67th anniversary of the Allied bombings during World War II in Dresden, Germany, on February 13, 2013. A hair salon in Taiwan came under fire for having a logo in the shape of a swastika. Robert Michael/AFP/Getty

Two signs with razor blades arranged to look like swastikas hang outside of the Berlin Hair Salon. The institute privately asked the owner to take the signage down multiple times, but he refused.

“How are they the same? They are completely different. It is merely a pattern formed by razors,” the salon’s owner, Hsu Chen-yang told Taipei Times, saying that the logo was not based on the Nazi symbol and that he would not take the logo down.

There have been several instances involving Nazi imagery in Taiwan. Students in northern Taiwan dressed in Nazi uniforms and used a cardboard tank while imitating a Nazi rally at the Hsinchu Kuang Fu Senior High School in 2016. The school’s principal offered to resign following condemnation from the country’s president and officials from Israel and Germany. 

“When it comes to our notice that someone is using these symbols, sometimes we can just give them a call. People will rethink, and they will remove the signs by themselves. It’s happened quite a few times,” said Sven Meier, a public relations officer from the institute, according to South China Morning Post

The swastika was once a symbol of good fortune before it became associated with the Nazis.

“Coca-Cola used it. Carlsberg used it on their beer bottle. The Boy Scouts adopted it, and the Girls’ Club of America called their magazine Swastika. They would even send out badges to their young readers as a prize for selling copies of the magazine,” Steven Heller, a graphic design writer, told the BBC. The symbol was even used by American military units during World War I.

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