Fashion chain gets pummeled for its attempt at Nazi chic

After receiving complaints last week, the company removed all Nazi-themed store decorations, including flags and a propaganda video, but the clothing remained until Monday when executives met and decided to remove the merchandise.

"We don't want to upset anybody,'' said Deborah Cheng, marketing manager of the retailer, which goes by the Internet-style name

"We were a bit politically insensitive. We don't wish to make any race unhappy about it,'' she said Tuesday.

One of the T-shirts for sale had a portrait of Adolf Hitler standing on a laurel. Decorations in the stores included red banners adorned with swastikas and a sign that resembled a Third Reich symbol — an eagle above a swastika.

One outlet used a film projector to show Nazi propaganda footage.

Cheng had said earlier the company did not believe many Hong Kong Chinese customers would be offended, but acknowledged Tuesday that executives had not counted on getting such a response from foreigners.

Disputes over Nazi symbols as marketing tools have emerged before in Asia, where many people are not as sensitive to the Holocaust as Europeans and Americans are.

In April, soft drink giant Coca-Cola pulled a promotional robot figurine adorned with what appeared to be Nazi swastikas following criticism from a Jewish leader in Hong Kong.