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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Under fire, Indian eatery drops Hitler from name

Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:16 PM BST

MUMBAI (Reuters) - A restaurant in India's financial hub has agreed to change its name from "Hitler's Cross" following strong protests by the country's tiny Jewish community and pressure from Israel.

"Hitler's Cross," which opened a week ago using posters of the Fuehrer and Nazi swastikas for publicity, initially refused to change its name, but relented Thursday and covered its signboards with white cloth.

The restaurant's name and its marketing gimmick had infuriated India's Jewish population, which had said it would fight any attempts at "rehabilitating Hitler."

Germany and Israel joined the protests with the Israeli consul-general in Mumbai writing to city authorities urging them to take steps to get the restaurant's name changed.

"We acknowledge that the name adopted by us for our restaurant was most inappropriate," Satish Sabhlok, one of the owners of the multi-cuisine restaurant, said in a statement.

"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."

The owners were yet to decide on a new name, he added.

The Indian Jewish Federation, the community's umbrella organisation, said it was relieved.

"The incident exposes the lack of understanding of the present generation about the atrocities of the past and the need to educate them about crimes against humanity," federation chairman Jonathan Solomon said.

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