TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A group of Taiwanese were seen celebrating Adolf Hitler's birthday and displaying Nazi flags at a restaurant in central Taiwan last week.
At around 8 p.m. on April 20, a 33-year-old Taiwanese translator who goes by the social media handle James Curly (姆士捲), saw a group of five Taiwanese men posing for a photograph as they held up the flag of the German Reich and the Black Sun flag at a hot pot restaurant on Zhongxiao East Road, in Taichung City's East District. The former flag features the Nazi swastika, while the latter originated in Nazi Germany.
Curly told Taiwan News that when he went to dine at the eatery, they were sitting at the table next to him. When one of their party arrived late, he greeted his comrades with a Nazi salute, and they replied in kind.
The influencer, who has 637,000 followers on his Facebook page and is known for posting Western memes and video footage with subtitles in Mandarin on multiple social media platforms, posted a photo he had taken of the men holding up the flags onto his Facebook and Instagram pages.
Rotated and cropped photo taken from James Curly's table. (James Curly photo)
After eating, Curly said the men gathered in the front of the restaurant, held up the banners, and asked one of the elderly proprietors to help them take a group photo.
The social media personality questioned whether, given the easy access to information in the digital age, these men could be ignorant of the atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II. He said there are still people sympathetic to the Nazi cause and he felt sick after witnessing the spectacle in the restaurant.
Curly said he overheard the men saying in Mandarin that they were celebrating Hitler's birthday, which falls on April 20.
The influencer has not revealed his real name despite being cited by numerous media reports. He told Taiwan News he has never made public appearances to protect his career and privacy.
He added that he did not give the restaurant's name because he didn't want to cause trouble for the "innocent owners."
Original photo of men with faces blurred. (James Curly photo)