Hitler Restaurant Renamed The Cross Cafe

(AP Photo/Gautam Singh) :: Customers leave after visiting 'Hitler's Cross' a restaurant at Kharghar, New Bombay, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Bombay, India, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006.

Updated: 8/30/2006


A restaurant named Hitler's Cross Cafe that enraged India's small Jewish community has been renamed The Cross Cafe, its owner said Tuesday.

Puneet Sablok said Nazi swastikas that adorned signs advertising the eatery and its menus would be removed and the new name would appear on billboards and the menu.

The restaurant opened Aug. 18, quickly drawing the ire of India's small Jewish community and Jewish leaders met with Sablok to demand that the name be changed. There are about 5,500 Jews in India and about 4,500 live in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay.

''When I had a meeting with the Jewish people and they told me about how the name hurt them, I decided to change it,'' said Sablok, whose restaurant is in Navi Mumbai, a suburb of Mumbai. ''I never wanted to hurt anyone and do business.''

When the controversy first broke, Sablok said the name and the big picture of Adolf Hitler outside the restaurant were only meant to attract attention.

Sablok agreed to rename the restaurant last week, but did not immediately pick a new one. He said he had blocked out the word ''Hitler'' from billboards during the transition.

Some Indians regard Hitler as just another historical figure and have little knowledge about the Holocaust, in which 6 million European Jews were systematically killed during World War II.

The swastika symbol, which was appropriated by the Nazis, was originally an ancient Hindu symbol and it is displayed throughout India to bring luck.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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