The Jewish community in India is outraged by a men’s clothing store that calls itself “Hitler” and uses the swastika in its branding. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, one of the store’s co-owners claims to not understand the fuss and says he intends to keep the name.
This isn’t the first time that the name “Hitler” has sparked anger in India. There was the restaurant owner who dubbed his new café “Hitler’s Cross,” and there was the company that designed bed linens with swastikas as part of “The Nazi Collection.”
Are some people in India really so undiscerning? Do they simply have no idea that using words like “Hitler” or “Nazi” evokes the worst dictatorship of the 20th century?
Indeed, there has even been a Bollywood feature film about the historical exchange of letters between Gandhi and Hitler meant to depict the latter’s “insecurities, his charisma, his paranoia and his sheer genius.” The film was released internationally as “My Friend Hitler,” but in India under the title “Gandhi to Hitler.” Word about the film during production sparked an uproar in India that prompted Anupam Kher, the actor playing Hitler, to abandon the role.
Now, two young businessmen have opened a swank new store named “Hitler” in Ahmedabad, the capital of the western Indian state of Gujarat, offering Western-style men’s clothing. The sign over the door has “Hitler” in capital letters, though the “i” has a dot bearing a red swastika.
SPIEGEL ONLINE spoke with Rajesh Shah, one of the two owners.