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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Climb down by 'Hitler' restaurant
By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

Hitler's Cross restaurant
One of the restaurant's owners has apologised for the choice of name
The owners of a new restaurant named "Hitler's Cross" in the Indian city of Mumbai have changed its name after protests from the Jewish community.

The restaurant opened last week in the city's outskirts, initially displaying a giant poster of Hitler.

But now one of the restaurant's owners has acknowledged that naming the restaurant after Hitler was "most inappropriate" and has apologised.

The small Jewish community said they were insulted over the choice of name.

'Very apologetic'

"We have decided to change the name of our restaurant and remove all signs and articles associated with Hitler and Nazism in and around it," said one of the restaurant's owners, Satish Sabhlok.

"Our intention was not to glorify Hitler - or his atrocities or ideology in any way - and we regret the anguish caused by the use of this name," he said.

The Chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, Jonathan Solomon, told the BBC that Mr Sabhlok came to his residence for a meeting on Thursday morning and was "very apologetic".

Mr Solomon said that he hoped that the restaurateur had "acted out of ignorance rather than malice".

"The opening of a restaurant with such a name has shocked us and all right thinking persons around the world," he said.

"We are grateful... To the people and government of our country, to the media for highlighting this issue and to the consular authorities of Germany, the USA and Israel in taking note of this issue and helping in its solution."

The restaurant opened in the city's outskirts last week with a party for 700 guests.

A poster of Hitler was placed at the entrance, although the owners said it was not put up by them.

But the name caused fury among the 5,000-member Jewish community in Mumbai.

"How can anybody think of naming a restaurant after a perpetrator of such heinous crimes against humanity?" Mr Solomon asked.

The consul generals of Israel and Germany became embroiled in the dispute, requesting the owners to change the name.

Initially they refused to do so, saying that they were only using the name and not promoting Hitler in any manner.




SEE ALSO
'Nazi' row over Indian textbooks
23 Jul 05 |  South Asia
Malaysia outlaws unsuitable names
30 Jul 06 |  Asia-Pacific



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