Have you ever met a Bollywood star
In India, Adolf Hitler is a star - even today
Lavith stretches her thumb up and grins broadly. “Germany: Hitler Country! Great! ”The gatekeeper from Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan is by no means the only fan of the dead dictator. In India, Adolf Hitler is a star - even today.
German football, German cars - and the German dictator are highly regarded in this part of the world, no matter how much you squirm with embarrassment. His name does not stand for evil personified, it stands for quality. His likeness with the grim look and the typical mustache is an effective customer magnet.
A fashion boutique in Ahmedabad, for example, chose Hitler as its brand name, in proper style with a small swastika as the i-dot. The store is doing well and so the owners Manish Chandani and Rajesh Shah initially refused to rename their company. The State of Israel, along with several Jewish groups, had officially complained. To choose the mass murderer as the namesake for a business is a "perverse abuse of the history of the Holocaust".
"I had no idea about Hitler"
"To be honest, I had no idea about Hitler," says co-founder Shah. His business partner had the idea for a name, it was his grandfather's nickname. Only later did Shah learn a little about the dark German past, but he decided to keep the name anyway, after all it is "memorable and something different". In the meantime, however, the two have bowed to the pressure. The shop is now called “Gladiator”, but the swastika on the I point has remained.
The name is not shocking in India, it beckons. There are pubs like “Hitler’s Cross” in Mumbai (the former Bombay) - which has since been renamed after Jewish protests, and the “Hitler’s Den” billiards hall in Nagpur. Resourceful business people even adorned ice cream cones with Hitler's name and image. The icy gaze of the Führer is emblazoned on the boxes of the street vendors who pour watery vanilla or chocolate ice cream into the waffles all over the South Asian country - probably the only thing the dictator has in common with the product.
“Mein Kampf” is only just back from number 21 to number 15 on the bestseller list on the Indian Amazon website
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