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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Restaurant Sparks Protests

A new Hitler-themed restaurant opened in Bombay last weekend sparking outrage among the local Jewish community.

Decorated with pictures of the Fuhrer and swastikas, the owners of the diner say they plan to turn it into a franchise.

However, Jonathan Solomon, the Chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation said: “This signifies a severe lack of awareness of the agony of millions caused by one man.”

More than 5,500 Jews currently live in the country, the vast majority of whom (4,300) are based in and around Mumbai.

Between 100 and 200 live in the Kharghar district where the restaurant has opened. There’s also a synagogue there.

Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg of Chabad in Mumbai told TJ: “Those who live in the area are upset. They are standing outside the restaurant and protesting about it.”

He added: “This is new in India, the people don’t have enough knowledge about who Hitler was or what he did. They don’t realise he was against them as well.”
The street leading up to the restaurant, which is named Hitler’s Cross and is situated in the financial hub of the city, is lined with posters depicting a large red swastika.

A huge portrait of the Nazi leader gazes out from the front of the diner.
The interior, meanwhile, is decked out in the colours red, black and white, evocative of the flag of the Third Reich

Manager Fatima Kabani insisted: "This place is not about wars or crimes, but where people come to relax and enjoy a meal."

Owner of Hitler’s Cross, Punit Shablok added: "We wanted to be different. This is one name that will stay in people's minds.

”We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different."

However, Jonathan Solomon said: “"We are going to stop this deification of Hitler.”

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