Dine Like a Fuhrer!

A new restaurant in India has raised some hackles. Hitler's Cross in Bombay features a theme centered around the late Nazi dictator, including a big entrance poster (now removed) of a glowering Fuhrer in full let-loose-the-Panzers mode. Well, at least Hitler's vegetarian diet meshes with Hinduism's ban on eating meat. But as for the Ghandian tradition of non-violence, well...

Outside of the understandable reaction of India's tiny Jewish community, Hitler's Cross has generated little controversy. Hitler and Nazism have little resonance in India except as generically recognizable cross-cultural artifacts that can generate word-of-mouth buzz. Even the notorious swastika symbol (to which the restaurant's name refers) is, ironically, an ancient Hindu symbol associated with good luck rather than virulent evil, as it is in the West.

To be fair, unlike in nearby Iran, where the regime disputes the Holocaust and manipulates Nazi history for contemporary political ends, Indians seem less mean spirited than simply clueless.

"Hitler was a bad man, but what's wrong with having food here?" asked one oblivious patron quoted in the Associated Press.

Perhaps the owners can branch into other themed eateries: Stalin's Chicken Shack, Mao's Mandarin Cuisine, Pol Pot's Potstickers, Saddam's Pizza & Wings...