Two signs resembling a swastika hang outside Berlin Hair Salon in Hsinchu City, Taiwan, on Sept. 18, 2018.
David Chang—EPA/EFE
By Eli Meixler
September 21, 2018

A Taiwanese hair salon has blacked-out signs that include symbols similar to Nazi swastikas after objectors to the sign urinated and defecated in front of the shop.

Hsu Chen-yang, the owner of the “Berlin Hair Salon” in northern Taiwan’s Hsinchu City decided to cover up the two swastika logos with “magic marker” after the front of the shop was defaced, Taiwan News reports.

It remains unclear if the rest of the store’s branding, which features other Nazi-era German imagery including the Reichsadler (Imperial Eagle), will be changed.

The German Institute in Taiwan said it was “shocked and disgusted” in a statement. “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.

The Institute, which acts as Germany’s de-facto embassy in Taiwan, had repeatedly asked the owner to remove the signs according to Taiwan News. But Hsu had refused, denying that the “four razor symbol” was offensive and citing the cost of designing a new logo.

Many reviewers on the shop’s Facebook page felt differently. “I haven’t been here, but I will never go. Using Nazi symbols in their logo is extremely inappropriate,” wrote one. “History matters. Mutual respect,” wrote another.

The incident wasn’t the first questionable recent use of Nazi imagery in Hsinchu.

In Dec. 2016, Taiwan’s Presidential Office demanded a Hsinchu City high school apologize to Israel after photos emerged of its students wearing Nazi uniforms, carrying banners emblazoned with swastikas, and performing the Nazi “Sieg Heil” salute at a themed school rally. The school’s principal resigned in the aftermath, the Taipei Times reported.

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