'Hitler' eatery upsets Indian Jews

Owner says he will change the name and remove the swastika; apologizes for hurting people's feelings.

August 23, 2006 17:10
1 minute read.
'Hitler' eatery upsets Indian Jews

hitler restaurant 298 88. (photo credit: AP)

A restaurant named after Adolf Hitler that enraged Bombay's Jewish community will soon have a new monicker, its owner promised Thursday. Puneet Sablok said he would remove Hitler's name and the Nazi swastika from billboards and the eatery's menu since it had angered so many people. He had previously said the name and symbols were only meant to attract attention. "Yes, I have decided to change the name. I never wanted to hurt people's feelings," said Sablok, who made the decision after meeting with members from Bombay's small Jewish community. He did not say what the new name would be. "Once they told me how upset they were with the name, I decided to change it. I never wanted to create this controversy or hurt people with this name," said Sablok. "I don't want to do business by hurting people." Hitler's Cross opened five days ago and serves pizza, salad and pastries in Navi Mumbai, a suburb of Bombay, also known as Mumbai. Bombay's Jews had called the theme of the restaurant offensive, and demanded a name change. There are about 5,500 Jews in India, with about 4,500 of them living in Bombay. On Thursday, Bombay's Jewish community welcomed Sablok's decision. "He realized he made a mistake and listened to reason," said Elijah Jacob, a community leader. "Some people have wrong conceptions of history and he realized it was not appropriate." Some Indians regard Hitler as just another historical figure and have little knowledge about the Holocaust, the murder of 6 million European Jews during World War II. Swastikas are originally an ancient Hindu symbol that was appropriated by the Nazis, and they are displayed all over India to bring luck.

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