Ah, the perennial people-in-Asia-are-wearing-clothing-items-with-swastikas-on-them-because-they-totally-don’t-GET-IT story. Complete with the ol’ Simon Wiesenthal Center  lament.

Today, via Asia Times Online: ‘Nazi chic in the new Myanmar

YANGON – Visitors to Myanmar these days often encounter young men in T-shirts emblazoned with a red swastika in a circle and the word “Nazi” written above. World War II-style motorcycle helmets decorated with the fascist emblem are also en vogue on the streets of Yangon.

Myanmar’s most popular rock band, which has thousands of fans on Facebook and has toured the United States, is named “The Iron Cross,” in reference to a German military medal that was bestowed by Adolf Hitler. The band’s logo is a Nazi eagle holding an iron cross instead of a swastika in its claws

“I imagine that people wearing these T-shirts might see them as just cool things to wear,” says Sydney University anthropologist Jane Ferguson, who has done extensive research in Myanmar. “Something that’s foreign and exotic might just look cool without going into the deep history. They might recognize the swastika as part of Nazi regalia, but associate it with the Sanskrit symbol of auspiciousness.”

Nonetheless, the pro-Nazi T-shirts and other wears are beginning to cause an international stir. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, a member of the California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center that fights anti-Semitism around the world, says his group is concerned about the seeming proliferation of Nazi symbolism in Myanmar.

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