By Tracy Vanity
People here in Thailand tend to view Hitler as a Darth Vader-like symbol of rebellion. Evil; but in a fun, punk-rock way. Thais happily sport Nazi imagery alongside images of Che Guevara and Doraemon without irony. The rock band “SLUR” even dressed up in Führer-regalia for their video simply called “Hitler.”
It doesn’t hurt that most of the planet’s people — Buddhists and Hindus — consider the swastika an auspicious emblem of the elephant-headed Ganesha. And there’s little comprehension of the Holocaust or most Western sentiments toward the Third Reich.
As a result, one frequently spots Nazi-iconography-as-fashion here, mostly in the form of t-shirts and other merchandise sold at various outdoor markets around Bangkok:
8-bit Führer for sale.
Hitler with a Western pop culture twist.
A Japanese tourist sports a pink Hitler shirt.
Nazi stickers on the ferry ride home.
Pop art Hitler is bigger than Warhol.
Rubber Hitler masks are available year round.
A chimpanzee hocks some Hitler faces at the gas station.
The Hitler wax sculpture at LOUIS Tussaud’s wax museum in Pattaya, Thailand is as popular as Obama.
And my personal favorite, the Swastikar.