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Indian Jews Outraged by "Dear Friend Hitler"

Flood of complaints prompts film's "Hitler" to withdraw from role.
By: Dan Verbin
Published: June 17th, 2010 in Culture » Film » News
Bollywood actor Anupam KherPic: Bollywood actor Anupam Kher

Protests by India’s small Jewish community, numbering about 5,000, prompted a well known actor to back out of playing the lead in a Bollywood film about Adolph Hitler.

Anupam Kher was set to play the Nazi leader in Dear Friend Hitler but dropped out of the production after flood of complaints on social networking sites and a series of protests.

"Considering the ill-will that the project is generating among my fans, I wish to withdraw from it as I respect their sentiments," Kher told Reuters. "I have never been moved by commercial considerations, but I have always respected social opinions.”

According to its producers, Dear Friend Hitler attempts to give audiences a look into Hitler’s insecurities, his paranoia and his sheer genius.” Filming is set to begin in next month.

India’s Jewish community, which has dwindled in size over the decades with immigration to Israel and Western countries, was outraged when news of the movie broke.

The director of Dear Friend Hitler insists his film will not venerate Hitler however, it seems that India’s Jews do not agree.

"Whoever is making this film is doing so with ignorant, if not more sinister motives,” Jonathan Solomon, the chair of the Indian Jewish Federation, told Reuters. “They are hurting the feelings of a community that has suffered a great deal.”

Several years ago, a Mumbai restaurant changed its name from “Hitler’s Cross” to “Cross Café” after angry protests. A year after that, the Jewish community again protested when a Mumbai home furnishing manufacturer created a new line of bedspreads called “NAZI” using swastikas as a promotional tool.

Related articles: film, bollywood, dear friend hitler, anupam kher
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