Wowprime concentration camp analogy sparks furor
By Alison Hsiao / Staff reporter
Wowprime Corp (王品) chairman Steve Day (戴勝益) touted the restaurant chain’s employee training program as having “the discipline of a boot camp and the cruelty of a Nazi concentration camp.”
In the latest issue of the Chinese-language Business Weekly magazine, in which Day writes a column sharing his management skills, he called his enterprise’s training camp one that trains employees with “extreme measures in order to stimulate their potential,” adding that it is a “rite of passage” for all of the company’s executive officers.
In Day’s description of the training camp, he said the harshness one would experience at the camp is extreme and he likened it to the combination of the discipline required at a boot camp and the cruelty of a Nazi concentration camp.
The remarks have drawn online criticism that Day is ignorant and that his analogy had crossed a red line. Others questioned whether Day knew “how cruel it was in a concentration camp” and said he stands as an example of how the education of his generation had failed.
Chen Tzu-yu (陳子瑜), a political science graduate, called Day’s management style outdated.
“Management is insulated from what enterprises need most [in the modern era] — innovation, risk-bearing capacity and accountability,” Chen said. “Day’s analogy of a concentration camp has also exposed his own deficiencies in historical understanding and the absence of a global perspective. Everyone knows that concentration camps were the place where the regime implemented its ‘Final Solution,’ a policy of ethic cleansing. It is the embodiment of human evil and historical tragedy.”
Chen said that in other nations, many had resigned or apologized for similar remarks.
Taiwan Association for Truth and Reconciliation executive secretary Yeh Hung-ling (葉虹靈) said she suspected that Day “had no idea what he was talking about.”
“Jews were not the only group that faced the Nazi’s extermination attempt, they also targeted homosexuals and people with disabilities,” she said. “It was a crime that slighted the dignity of the whole human race and that is totally in contradiction to the spirit of a business that calls itself a customer-based ‘happy enterprise.’”