Monday, August 21, 2006

Dining With Hitler

I just read a short article about a new restaurant that opened in India called Hitler's Cross, named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas. India's small Jewish community, of course, is outraged.

“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.

“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.” Different? Not the word I would use to describe Hitler, or this restaurant.

Now, seriously. I can't even comment on this creepy brand of anti-Semitism.

8 comments:

Casey said...

Even with my sometimes-conservative sympathies, I have to admit: this makes the ugly soullessness of free markets quite evident.

Anything to make a buck, apparently.

nedric said...

"But we want to tell people we are different in the way [Hitler] was different.” What?!?!Nauseating...

It's interesting this is in India. Diasporic Indians in America sometimes argue that it is home to the most peaceful and spiritual religious traditions and communities.

Monica said...

At a literature conference last year I met a professor from India who is a Jewish literature scholar. He told me that there is actually a substantial Jewish community in India, which I found fascinating.

Emyb01 said...

The India Hitler restaurant is changing its name after meeting with the local Jewish community. Thought you'd be interested. I just wish they'd said what the new name will be. http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14498419/?GT1=8404

Monica said...

Thanks Emby01 -- I hadn't seen that yet. Very interesting. I, too, wonder what the new name will be. It certainly (hopefully) can't be as bad as Hitler's Cross.

Luke said...

You have to wonder if the guy even knew who Hitler was or what the swastica stood for (its Hindu significance is completely different). You'd be surprised what people don't know nowadays. Historical truths have to be transmitted. It is not an automatic process.

Monica said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monica said...

Luke, yes, I know that the swastika's origin is in Hinduism, and that historical truths do indeed need to be transmitted -- as you suggest -- but, it would seem that he must know something about Hitler (must have researched something, anyway) if he had decided to name a restaurant after him. But, at any rate, at least he's now agreed to change the name, and apologized to India's Jewish community. It's a start.