From the archive, originally posted by: [ mmm ]
It’s like if “The Producers” opened an eatery
Mon Aug 21, 2006 08:43 AM ET
By Krittivas Mukherjee
MUMBAI (Reuters) – A new restaurant in India’s financial hub, named
after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader
and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country’s small Jewish
‘Hitler’s Cross’, which opened last week, serves up a wide range of
continental fare and a big helping of controversy, thanks to a name
the owners say they chose to stand out among hundreds of Mumbai
“We wanted to be different. This is one name that will stay in
people’s minds,” owner Punit Shablok told Reuters.
“We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are
different in the way he was different.”
But India’s remaining Jews — most migrated to Israel and the West
over the years — say they are outraged by the gimmick.
“This signifies a severe lack of awareness of the agony of millions of
Jews caused by one man,” said Jonathan Solomon, chairman of the Indian
Jewish Federation, the community’s umbrella organization.
“We are going to stop this deification of Hitler,” he said without elaborating.
The small restaurant, its interior done out in the Nazi colors of red,
white and black, also has a lounge for smoking the exotic Indian water
pipe or “hookah.”
Posters line the road leading up to it, featuring a red swastika
carved in the name of the eatery. One slogan reads: “From Small Bites
to Mega Joys.”
A huge portrait of a stern-looking Fuehrer greets visitors at the
door. The cross in the restaurant’s name refers to the swastika that
symbolized the Nazi regime.
“This place is not about wars or crimes, but where people come to
relax and enjoy a meal,” said restaurant manager Fatima Kabani, adding
that they were planning to turn the eatery’s name into a brand with
more branches in Mumbai.
The swastika has its roots in ancient Indian Hindu tradition and
remains a sacred symbol for Hindus. Nazi theorists appropriated it to
bolster their central hypothesis of the Aryan origins of the German