Northern Taiwan hair salon refuses to remove 'Nazi swastikas' from entrance

Despite demand by German Institute in Taipei that it removes 'Nazi swastikas,' Hsinchu owners insists they are just 'razors'

"Nazi" swastika-like logo. (Photo from Berlin Hair Salon Instagram)

"Nazi" swastika-like logo. (Photo from Berlin Hair Salon Instagram)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The German Institute in Taipei (GIT), Germany's de facto embassy in Taiwan, has requested a Taiwanese hair salon remove symbols from its entrance that resemble Nazi swastikas, however, the owner has remained defiant and claims that they are merely "razor blades."

A hair salon, which lists itself on Facebook as "Berlin Hair Salon" has recently been discovered to have posted two logos on its front entrance which bear a strong resemblance to Nazi swastikas, including the fact that they are right-facing and are tilted at a tell-tale 45-degree angle, unlike Buddhist swastikas which are left-facing. In response, the GIT issued a statement which described the commercial use of Nazi symbols as a "despicable act of offense against the victims of the Holocaust," and appealed the owner of the store to take them down immediately.

Before releasing the statement, the GIT had asked the owner of the salon in private on several occasions to take the logos down, but he stubbornly refused, reported Liberty Times. When asked to comment on the GIT's statement, the owner of the salon, Hsu Chen-yang (徐振洋), told Liberty Times that the logo on the signs was created by a designer hired by the shop.

He said that the whole logo is composed of four razors rotating around and had nothing to do with the Nazis in Germany or other historical events. He suggested that the controversy was a malicious report by a person with bad intent.

Google Street View image of the logo.

In addition to having the name "Berlin Hair Salon," the swastika-like logo can be seen stamped on the images of some customers inside the shop's Facebook page. In the review section of the shop's Facebook page, complaints in English and Chinese about the Nazi-like symbolism have started to flood in:

"Take your racist swastikas down and learn some history."

"Berlin is the name? Swastikas outside? Rethink that."

"Choosing the name Berlin, the sign is a sign 45-degree Nazi symbol. If it's not intentional, then ignorance really is a crime."

"The swastikas are offensive. And even though the owner has been informed, he doubled down. Just ignorant."

"F*** Nazi icons. Even when they are used by uneducated people who don't intend to insult anyone, they do. They are offensive."

Customer with strange swastika-like logo. (Photo from @hair1salon11 Facebook page)

The images hark back to a similar incident in which high school students dressed in Nazi uniforms, causing a massive uproar. On Dec. 24, 2016, the Presidential Office demanded a high school apologize to Israel after pictures emerged online of its students wearing Nazi uniforms and waving swastika flags, just two days before Christmas.

The photos were reportedly taken during a school celebration at the Kuang-fu High School in Hsinchu City. They showed at least a dozen students in black uniforms with swastika armbands, several of them holding Nazi flags and symbols. There was also one student who brought the stretched-armed Nazi salute from the top of a cardboard replica of a tank.

Google Street View image of store front, including two signs with "swastika" logo.

The backlash was enormous with the GIT and the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei have expressing disappointment and condemnation over the Nazi symbols. The teachers and students expressed remorse, the school's president has stepped down and a student has written a letter defending his actions.

The owner of the salon has yet to respond to a request from Taiwan News for comment on its controversial logo.

Another Google Street View image of store front and signs with "swastika" logo.