Friday, 25 August 2006

Drinking at the Hitler Bar

A few years back when we staged a Walk for Capitalism around Princes Wharf and Auckland's Viaduct, the Herald was amused that we didn't "darken the door" of the popular Lenin Bar. Asked why by the Herald reporter, one of the walkers replied, "If someone opened a bar called Hitler, would that be tasteful?"

Now I thought that was a good rhetorical question -- why would you want to drink in a bar whose name celebrates totalitarianism and mass murder? Well, ask the patrons of the Lenin Bar? And now ask too the patrons of the new Hitler's Cross Restaurant in Mumbai, India, where Yahoo News reports "local politicians and movie industry types were on hand to celebrate [its opening] beneath the posters of the Nazi leader and swastikas."

Hat tip for the story to Nicholas Provenzo who asks, "What's next? Himmler's Death's Head Bistro? Quisling's Croissants & Pastries? Goering's Gelatos?"

LINKS: Walk celebrates money-making - NZ Herald, Dec 3, 2001
New restaurant bears Hitler's name - Yahoo News
New restaurant bears Adolf Hitler's name - Rule of Reason weblog

RELATED: Politics-World, Auckland, Libz


  1. Fidel's cafe?

    oh, hold on...

  2. You do realise that calling a waterfront pub is a deliberate exercise in irony, right? When I travelled through Russia it was common to see street vendors with shirts with 'McLenin'over the golden arches - typical Russian black humour. I think they'd get it too.

    Still, PC, I'm surprised - you're all about power to the land owners. Surely it's none of 'the publics' business what a land owner names his business?

  3. Good points polemic. Out of interest, how do you see irony playing a part in the naming of Lenin Bar? I'm just curious as to how you see it.

    I'd like to know if Auckland City Council would allow a bar on the waterfront to be called Hilter or Pinnochet - seriously would they allow it? How about the Pol Pot Bar and Bistro? - the Khmer Rouge Disco? Hell, why not?

  4. PC said...
    [New restaurant bears Hitler's name]

    A relative of mine who lives in Ellerslie is called Winston Churchill and was born in 1941. His neighbour in the island named their son Adolph Hitler, who was born 2 months after Winston. Adolph Hitler lives in Mangere, but he only uses his first name (Adolph), I think that he is ashamed, now realising what his name is about. Talking to surviving elderly people from my village who are in Auckland about those 2 names, why their parents chose them, they said that at the time, the newspaper was published once a week. Every weekly paper had Churchill & Hitler on the front page side by side. People knew Hitler was the enemy, but perhaps they didn’t realise how evil he was. The gassing of the Jews was something that only emerged after the war, from film archives. Adolph Hitler has a brother in Otahuhu who has a son named Jehovah and the island church community are disgusted with that because they think it is a blasphemy against their religion (Methodist Church).

    Naming something (person or a place) is a personal choice, and regardless of how other people think, it is their right to choose whatever sequence of alphabets they want to adopt for a name, however disgusting that might be.

  5. I didn't see anything about PC's wanting to illegalize it--he just wouldn't patronize the place.

  6. Leelion - because I somehow doubt that the owners of a wasterfront pub would extoll the virtues of a peoples revolution.

    Let's just clarify a misconception that PC has spread, and Leelion picked up.. Lenin was an intellectual who championed the teaching of Russian no illiterate farmers, womens sufferage and the eletrification of the country-side. Later Soviet leaders would turn on their population as the Communist experiment failed.

    Regardless of your opinions of the merits of Communism vs whatever, Lenin the man was not in the same League as Pol Pot, Hitler or Stalin Let's get our history right. So I don't support PC's axiom that Lenin is "a bar whose name celebrates totalitarianism and mass murder".

  7. polemic, you're entitled to your opinion but I politely beg to differ. To quote Lenin:

    "not a single problem of the class struggle has ever been solved in history except by violence."

    Lenin was one of the most influential people in history. He was an intellectual but also a man of action who returned to Russia to take power.

    He was the man who took the theories of Marx and translated them into political practice.

    His actions in 1917 were an insidious foothold that lead to the communist expansion throughout the world until the late seventies - a disastrous expansion that enslaved millions.

    During his brief five year rule he was responsible for several million deaths and established prison camps (gulags) for crushing political oppositon.

    Stalin just carried on the good work. Cheers.

  8. To quote the Black Book of Communism "from 1824 to 1917 the total number of people sentenced to death in Russia for their political beliefs or activities was 6360, of whom only 3932 were executed...These figures were surpassed by the Bolsheviks in March 1918, after they had been in power for only four months"

    Another quote. Isaac Steinberg (Bolshevik) said "What is the point of a People's Commissariat for Justice? It would be more honest to have a People's Commissariat for Social Extermination. People would understand more clearly" "Excellent Idea" Lenin countered "That's exactly how I see it. Unfortunately, it wouldn't do to call it that"

    Anyone who thinks Stalin started the murderous terror of the USSR is deluded. Lenin was just as bloodthirsty, Stalin had more time, more technology and didn't need to set up the state apparatus to enforce terror - he had it there to use.

    Lenin is an intellectual, as much as Saloth Sar (Pol Pot), Khieu Samphan and the rest of the Khmer Rouge, who all studied at the Sorbonne. Intellectuals with the blood of millions on their hands - it is about time that Lenin be as villified as Hitler - all those that followed simply copied.

  9. Indeed Scott & Leelion. Lenin is infamous for referring to the general public as 'useful idiots'. His current Kiwi counterparts do not appear to think any differently.

    The good folk of St Petersburg were quick to rename Leningrad which just screamed greyness and jackboots.

    Ah, Polemic .. don't you know that communists are just losers who've given up all hope of becoming capitalists! :)


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