Sat, Jan 20, 2018 - Page 3 News List

German, Israeli offices condemn Nazi symbols

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Supporters of the German Old Mark Association protest in Taipei on Thursday against Germany’s alleged refusal to reimburse Mark bonds issued in Taiwan by Japan in the 1920s, even though it has reimbursed such bonds in other nations.

Photo: David Chang, EPA-EFE

The German Institute Taipei and the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei yesterday jointly condemned the use of German National Socialist Party (Nazi) symbols by an association demanding the redemption of old German mark bonds during a recent demonstration in Taipei.

“Using Nazi symbols and wielding the Nazi flag in public is a despicable act of offense against the victims of the Holocaust and the Holocaust survivors,” the offices said in a joint statement issued yesterday.

They said mocking the memory of the victims of Nazi rule in any way is utterly unacceptable and a gross abuse of the freedom of expression.

The offices were referring to a demonstration in front of Taipei 101 on Thursday by about 50 members of the German Old Mark Association.

The protesters held up banners with swastikas, which in English read: “The German government failed in its transitional justice for being having no money to repay the old debts, but always being able to find funds for investments going beyond its financial means. [sic]”

They also blasted the German government for declaring in 2010 that it had paid off its World War I reparations, while leaving out Taiwan.

Association members have said that after World War I, Germany compensated Japan by paying 2,200 trillion old mark bonds, which the Japanese colonial authorities, who ruled Taiwan between 1895 and 1945, allegedly forcibly sold to Taiwanese people.

The association has demanded that Germany reimburse mark bonds sold in Taiwan by Japan in the 1920s.

In August last year, it staged a protest in Taipei, which was hosting the Summer Universiade.

It is not the first time that the use of Nazi symbols has stirred up controversy in Taiwan.

In December 2016, students at Kuang Fu High School in Hsinchu paraded in Nazi-style uniforms and displayed Nazi symbols during a campus event.

It was followed by another incident in October last year, when an auto parts retailer was found to have put Nazi flag stickers on its shelves.

Additional reporting by Yao Yueh-hung

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