Fri, Mar 30, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Nazism is always tasteless

By John Eastwood

I am surprised and saddened by the reversal of the Taipei Times' editorial stance ("Furor a storm in a teacup," March 20, page 8) after the excellent job done on the initial reporting of the "Taiwanese Nazis" situation.

First, the editorial refers to the "sometimes tasteless" use of Hitler imagery in advertisements and Nazi kitsch. Let's put that one to rest: The Nazi and Hitler stuff we see here is tasteless all the time.

Second, the editorial refers to "the global network of pro-Jewish activists" who are supposedly effective in finding and exposing these neo-Nazi activities. It's not really "pro-Jewish" people so much as "anti-Nazi," "anti-racist" and "anti-bigoted" people who feel this way. "Pro-civilization" might be a way to consider those who feel strongly about a racist regime that murdered and enslaved tens of millions of people, and we remain united in applying the strongest taboos against present-day manifestations of Nazism. We also stand united against the 228 Massacre and the horrors of the White Terror period here in Taiwan.

Third, your editorial seems to gloss over the racist views of one co-founder about exterminating the children of foreign workers while lauding the other co-founder's views about "nationalism, traditional Chinese values and limit the numbers of immigrant workers coming to Taiwan." Where there's smoke, there's fire -- and considering that the Nazis are most notorious for their exterminations of millions of Jews, Russians, Roma, homosexuals and other people, I just don't accept the suggested premise that we should cut the neo-Nazis any slack just because "only one" co-founder openly advocates killing our children.

The Taipei Times' initial reaction was to provide careful, balanced coverage of a difficult topic that is sure to come up again as Taiwan continues to engage the international community in trade, cultural and educational activities. The problem is not that it was reported or that it became international news; the problem is that Taiwan has students who think they can learn anything positive from the morally bankrupt, murderous and racist Nazi regime.

John Eastwood


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