Indian Jews protest Bollywood Hitler film

By Jennifer Lipman, June 23, 2010
Anupam Kher tweeted that he was leaving the film

Anupam Kher tweeted that he was leaving the film

Members of the Indian Jewish community have slammed plans to make a Bollywood film about Hitler’s final days.

Filming is set to start in two months time but Anupam Kher, the actor due to play the Nazi leader, has now dropped out after facing criticism.

At the beginning of June Indian producers announced they were making a film about the end of the Third Reich.

They have said Dear Friend Hitler would show audiences the Nazi leader’s "insecurities, his charisma, his paranoia and his sheer genius” as well as his apparent “love for India”. The film will also focus on the relationship between Hitler and Eva Braun.

But Jonathan Solomon, the chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, said the film had caused outrage among Indian Jews, who number about 5000.

He said: "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.”

Protests also erupted across the web, with fans slamming Mr Kher for agreeing to the role.

Despite having said he was looking forward to playing such an “interesting” character, the actor said he had decided to pull out of the role.

Mr Kher, a Bollywood legend who has appeared in 400 films and also played Mahatma Gandhi, tweeted: “Sometimes human emotions are more important than cinema.”

In a statement he added: "Considering the ill-will that the project is generating among my fans, I wish to withdraw from it as I respect their sentiments " .

India’s Jewish population has plummeted in recent decades, with many people moving to Israel.

Last updated: 2:59pm, January 28 2011