The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday called on Rajesh Shah, the owner of an Indian clothing store in the city of Ahmedabad, to immediately change the store’s name from “Hitler” and remove a large “Hitler” sign that features a swastika.
“It is a perverse abuse of the history of the Holocaust to name a business after one of the world’s most notorious mass murders and anti-Semites,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor.
In a letter to the store’s owner, the ADL called his decision to name the store after Hitler “deeply offensive” and “an affront to the memory of the millions of Hitler’s victims.”
The store in Ahmedabad is named for one of the proprietor’s grandfathers, whose nickname was Hitler, the Times of India reported. He reportedly was called Hitler “because of his strict nature,” according to the newspaper.
Shop owner Shah said he would be willing to change the name if he was compensated for his expenses in registering the store’s name, purchasing signage and business cards, and advertising. Shah said he did not know about Hitler’s history, except that he was a strict man, until he started researching it on the Internet.
Local Jewish community members said they believe the owner is not as ignorant of the history of Hitler as he says.
JTA contributed to this report