‘Hitler’ clothing store stirs anger in India

The outlet, which sells Western men's wear, opened 10 days ago in Ahmedabad city in the western state of Gujarat with "Hitler" written in big letters over the front and with a Nazi swastika as the dot on the "i".

"I will change it [the name] if people want to compensate me for the money we have spent – the logo, the hoarding, the business cards, the brand," Rajesh Shah told AFP.

He put the total costs at about $2 700.

Shah insisted that until the store opened he did not know who Adolf Hitler was and that Hitler was a nickname given to the grandfather of his store partner because "he was very strict".

"I didn't know how much the name would disturb people," he told AFP by telephone from Ahmedabad. "It was only when the store opened I learnt Hitler had killed six million people."

Members of the tiny Jewish community in Ahmedabad condemned the store's name, while a senior Israeli diplomat said the embassy would raise the matter "in the strongest possible way."

"People use such names mostly out of ignorance," Israel's Mumbai Consul General Orna Sagiv told AFP.

Esther David, a prominent Indian writer in Ahmedabad who is Jewish, said she was "disturbed and distressed" by the shop, but added that some Indians used the word "Hitler" casually to describe autocratic people.

David said Jewish residents had sought to change Shah's mind about the store's name and told him about the Holocaust.

The row evoked memories of a controversy six years ago when a Mumbai restaurant owner called his cafe "Hitler's Cross" and put a swastika on the hoarding, claiming Hitler was a "catchy" name.

The restaurant owner eventually agreed to change the name after protests by the Israeli embassy, Germany and the US Anti-Defamation League.

Hitler attracts an unusual degree of respect in some parts of India, with his book Mein Kampf a popular title in bookshops and on street stalls

Gujarat schoolbooks issued by the Hindu nationalist state government were criticised a few years ago for praising Hitler as someone who gave "dignity and prestige" to the German government. – Sapa-AFP

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

South Africa among countries where debt collection is most difficult

Some small to medium businesses are taking as long as 180 days to settle debts, according to an assessment by international insurer Allianz Trade

Could we please have some consistency in our drug laws

It’s high time we saw much of the legislation for what it is - hypocritical and a little nutty

Race to save Limpopo’s magical Mutavhatsindi tree

For the first time, conservation team have now successfully propagated critically endangered species

Gaseous explosion probably caused death of 21 young people at...

Expert says it will be a few weeks before a final determination is made on the cause of death
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×