Municipal authorities in the Indian state of Gujarat removed the sign for a men’s’ clothing store named Hitler.
The sign - on which the letter “i” was dotted with a swastika - was removed Tuesday after hundreds of complaints from both within and outside of the Jewish community.
“The store owners had voluntarily agreed to remove the controversial billboard. But when they failed to do so, we removed it,” Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra told the Press Trust of India. “It is a sensitive issue. We had received hundreds of e-mails demanding removal of the board,” he said.
The shop owners had no prior notice that the sign was to be dismantled, according to reports. They reportedly filed a complaint with police over the action.
Shop owner Rajesh Shah told The Indian Express in September that he and his business partner Manish Chandani decided to change the name because they were “getting political pressure” to do so. They later backtracked, saying they would only remove the sign if the Jewish community gave them enough money to erect a new sign and advertise the name change.
The store in the city of Ahmedabad, which opened in August, is named for one of the proprietor’s grandfathers, whose nickname was Hitler. He reportedly was called Hitler “because of his strict nature,” according to The Times of India.
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, though Jewish community members said they believe the owners are not as ignorant of the history of Hitler as they say.