Seventy-three years ago, on Monday, Adolf Hitler killed himself in his Berlin bunker alongside his wife of one day, Eva Braun. With the Red Army closing in, their bodies were hastily burned and buried in a shell crater in the nearby garden. That’s the official story anyway.
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All that remains of the sign above the Hitler clothing store in Ahmedabad, India, is the swastika that used to dot its “i.” Citing cultural insensitivity, the municipality tore it down on Oct. 30 after the store’s owners refused to change it. Rajesh Shah, a co-owner of the shop, which opened in August, is flummoxed. “We are popular because of the name,” he says. “Our customers were not upset about the name. They said, ‘Don’t change it.’ Ahmedabadis like the name because they know Hitler [has not done] anything harmful to India.”
Lacking the sting of anti-Semitism but troubling nonetheless, the Hitler brand is gaining strength in India. Mein Kampf is a bestseller, and bossy people are often nicknamed Hitler on television and in movies.