German Institute in Taipei calls for hair salon owner to take down 'Nazi swastikas'

German Institute in Taipei appeals to Hsinchu hair salon owner to take down 'Nazi swastikas' from front of shop

Google Street View image of storefront, including two "swastika' logos.

Google Street View image of storefront, including two "swastika' logos.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In response to news reports that a hair salon in Hsinchu is using a logo that resembles a Nazi swastika and after repeated private requests to take the symbols down, the German Institute in Taipei (GIT) today issued an appeal on Facebook that the owner take the logo down immediately.

On its official Facebook page, the GIT at 11:32 a.m. today posted the following statement in response to recent media reports that the "Berlin Hair Salon" in Hsinchu was using Nazi-like symbols:

"We are shocked and disgusted to hear that a barber shop in Hsinchu is openly displaying the Nazi symbol on its door sign. Displaying Nazi symbols for commercial use is an insult to the victims of the Holocaust! This institute appeals to the store manager to remove the Nazi symbols immediately."

Taiwanese media on Sunday started to report that the salon has two signs on its front entrance with logos that 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 on behalf of the Federal Foreign Ministry of Germany, which it has forwarded to Taiwan News and reads as follows:

"In regards to the hairdressing saloon in Hsinchu, using Nazi swastika 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."

Logo on front entrance resembling Nazi swastika. (Photo from Berlin Hair Salon Instagram)

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 rotating razors 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.

Storefront with two "Nazi swastikas." (CNA image)

However, as both foreign and Taiwanese have started to criticize the use of the symbols online, including on the shop's Facebook review section, Hsu seems to be changing his tune somewhat. In an interview with Apple Daily published today, Hsu said he has been plagued by anonymous harassment and online abuse, but again insisted that the design is meant to depict razors, not the Nazi swastika.

Hsu said that the logo has been completely removed from the internet, but he said it will take a while for him to replace the signboards, as he claimed he did not yet have enough money to hire someone to redesign them. Despite Hsu's claim that the logo had been removed from the internet, there are actually plenty examples of its presence in the salon's official Facebook page.

Logo resembling Nazi swastika (left). (Photo from @hair1salon11 Facebook page)

In addition, Mike Hawkenbols submitted this photo to Taiwan News which he says was of an earlier version of the hair salon's logo seen last year featuring the Reichsadler (Imperial Eagle) at the top.

(Photo by Mike Hawkenbols)

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