Film on Hitler sparks outrage among Jews in India

Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:40am EDT
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Protests by India's small Jewish community have prompted a leading actor to pull out of a film on the last days of Adolf Hitler, a rare subject for a movie in the Bollywood film industry.

Anupam Kher, who was supposed to play the role of Hitler, told Reuters he had decided to withdraw from the film after an outpouring of messages on social networking sites and 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 said in a statement released to Reuters.

"Dear Friend Hitler" aims to give audiences a glimpse into Hitler's "insecurities, his charisma, his paranoia and his sheer genius," according to a statement on the film which will go on floors next month.

"I have never been moved by commercial considerations, but I have always respected social opinions," Kher said.

India has a small Jewish community of around 5,000 as most have migrated to Israel and the West over the years. They said they were outraged by the decision to make a film on Hitler.

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

In 2006, a small restaurant in Mumbai was forced to change its name from "Hitler's Cross" to "Cross Cafe" after strong protests.   Continued...

<p>This picture shows an undated file picture of the German "Fuehrer" Adolf Hitler. REUTERS/Handout</p>