4 Baffling Ways the Continent of Asia Loves Hitler
When you totally excise all the racial purity rhetoric and genocide and wholesale destruction of humanity, Adolf Hitler is basically Mr. Bean. At least that's the verdict of some folks across Asia, where der Fuhrer's sourpuss countenance has inspired everything from bars in Seoul to Mongolian neo-Nazi groups.
What happened, Mongolia? You used to be cool.
And thanks to a failure to teach about the Holocaust in Asian schools, Hitler has become everything from a generically admirable military leader to a cartoon mascot who shills random crap. For instance ...
Hitler Joins the Justice League and the Avengers in Thailand
A special occasion will never be truly special without a big-ass banner. Students at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University know this much, but their education failed them when they tossed Hitler on a superhero-themed graduation mural, hanging out with his best friend Captain America.
Ah, so Hitler's replaced Hawkeye. Nice trade-up.
The banner recently hung for two days before getting the heave-ho. According to the dean of Chulalongkorn's art school, "The concept was to paint a picture of superheroes who protect the world [...] Hitler was supposed to serve as a conceptual paradox to the superheroes." Unfortunately, these shades of meaning were lost when the best-selling author of Mein Kampf was jammed between such heretofore unacknowledged Nazi war criminals as Bruce Wayne and Christopher Reeve.
And on the right, Buddha in whiteface.
Of course, this poster wasn't born from the mind of one eccentric art student. Hitler's likeness adorns all manner of Thai tchotchkes, including such Reich-a-licious fashion statements as SS bike helmets, temporary swastika tattoos, and baffling mashup T-shirts.
Who can forget the pink Teletubby, Fascipsy?
And -- because who the fuck knows anymore -- here's an Adolf McDonald statue commanding passersby to donate money to flood relief:
Take the genocide and lebensraum out, and national socialism was basically all flood relief.
And while we're on the topic of fascist fast food, this fried chicken spot (as seen here a few years back) in the province of Ubon Ratchathani replaced the beatific colonel with the grumpy chancellor.
"I'm sorry, I just cannot see what's inappropriate here."
It later changed both its sign and its name to "H-ler," but that didn't stop the Daily Mail from recently running a B.S. piece on some wacky newfangled Thai chicken restaurant (because the Daily Mail just makes shit up).
You can't spell "Daily Mail" without the better part of two "fail"s.
Hitler, the Indian Clothing Store
When beginning a business endeavor, a bare minimum of brand research is required. For example, you might want to check the Internet before you start a kitchenware line inspired by Nate Silver's electoral predictions. Williams-Sonoma isn't going sell any decorative mugs manufactured by "Poll Pottery."
This advice totally bypassed Rajesh Shah and Manish Chandani last summer. When it came time to open their new clothing boutique in Ahmedabad, India, they decided to name the store after Chandani's strict grandfather's college nickname.
Fourth Reich Prep was a wacky place.
In case you were wondering, his grandfather received this sobriquet after playing the Nazi dictator in a play (and not as the world's shittiest rush week nickname). After unconvincingly claiming A) that they had no idea who Hitler was and B) that they spent too much on swastika-related marketing materials, Shah and Chandani caved to public pressure and agreed to rename the shop.
But to be fair to the shopkeepers, we're pretty sure that, if he were alive today, Hitler (the man) would wear the clothing of Hitler (the store). After all, nothing screams "soul-churning evil" quite like knockoff Ed Hardy.
We refuse to believe that is anything but Hitler's actual business card.
Vampire Hitler Paraphernalia from a Taiwanese 7-Eleven
Proving you really can get anything at a 7-Eleven, a Taiwanese branch of the convenience store chain came under fire in 2011 when it began selling key rings, USB cards, and magnets depicting Hitler from an alternate universe where he was bit by Dracula and forced to sell insurance into his middle age.
Oh God ... why does he look more threatening with that as his job?
7-Eleven claimed that they didn't realize these doodads could've offended anyone, which is actually somewhat believable, given that Taiwanese billboards also once used Hitler to sell German-made heaters. Hitler marketing couldn't get any weirder than this, could it?
Actually, the real Hitler was weirder than this.
The Indonesian SS-Themed Cake Shop
And here we have Soldatenkaffee, a coffee shop/bakery in Bandung, Indonesia, that has cornered the market on selling festive cakes and Nazi memorabilia under the same roof. Indeed, the eatery -- whose website boasts "WE ARE THE ONLY KAFFEE IN THE WORLD WITH DECORATED WW2 GERMAN" -- apparently goes that extra mile and dresses its staff up as SS officers.
In fairness, genocide and classy dining go together pretty well.
If you visit the restaurant's site, you will be treated to a photo gallery promising goods ranging from Hello Kitty cakes to antique banknotes. Yes, at Soldatenkaffee, the Thousand Year Reich is still chugging along, terrorizing West Java with gross-looking pastries.
Who wouldn't want Nazi memorabilia with their birthday cake?
But don't expect to see new fondant sculptures of Hermann Goring's head anytime soon. After an influx of recent negative press, the owner has closed the doors for the time being. ("I have a right to design my restaurant with anything that attracts people to come," he insisted feebly, vastly overestimating Indonesia's neo-Nazi population.)