Indian Jews outraged at 'Nazi' bedspread

Mumbai-based home furnishing company used swastikas in its promotional material.

September 30, 2007 18:07
1 minute read.

Leaders of India's Jewish community said Sunday they are outraged by a new line of bedspreads called "The Nazi Collection" from a Mumbai-based home furnishing company that used swastikas in its promotional material. The furnishing dealer said the name stands for "New Arrival Zone for India" and was not meant to be anti-Semitic. But Jewish groups were furious and said they would approach authorities and file a lawsuit against the company. "This is an enormous insult to Jews and all right-thinking people and must be retracted," said Jonathan Solomon, chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation. "We believe the word Nazi has deliberately been made. This is just not done." Solomon said that he had spoken to other Jewish groups in the city, and that they would approach authorities and the dealer together. There are about 5,500 Jews living in India, a predominantly Hindu nation of 1.1 billion people. The bedspread line is not yet on sale, but brochures were handed out in a mall in a northern Mumbai suburb, the Times of India newspaper reported Sunday. Furnishing dealer Kapil Kumar Todi said he chose the name because "that's what came to my mind," according to the paper. "It really does not matter to me who feels bad about it," he said. Some Indians regard Hitler as just another historical figure and have little knowledge about the Holocaust, in which 6 million European Jews were systematically killed during World War II. The swastika symbol, which was appropriated by the Nazis, was originally an ancient symbol used in Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions, and is still displayed all over India in hopes of bringing luck. Last year, a restaurant in Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital, changed its name from Hitler's Cross after the city's Jewish community protested. The restaurant used swastikas on its signs and menus.

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