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Belgrade 'President' Hotel Causes Stir
The Hitler Room Is Most Popular, and That Has Riled Some Locals
By DRAGANA JOVANOVIC
BELGRADE, Jan. 18, 2008
With fierce competition, the hotel industry is constantly inventing new marketing tricks to attract guests. Now some people are accusing Belgrade hotelier Dusan Zabunovic of going too far with his latest gimmick.
Zabunovic renovated a property opposite Belgrade's central train station, with the help of some of the best designers in the country. He named the hotel Mr. President and designed each room around a current or past world leader.
As a member of the Design Hotel chain, Mr. President boasts many luxurious suites. The most luxurious, on the seventh floor, comes complete with a portrait of former communist leader Josip Broz Tito, who ruled Yugoslavia for more than 35 years. You can enjoy his picture while soaking in your Jacuzzi.
In addition to the Bushes, Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Castro and Joseph Stalin, there is also a junior suite named after the infamous Adolf Hitler.
The Hitler or room 501, occupied mainly by German, Croat and Slovenian guests, sees the highest demand, according to Zabunovic.
But the former Nazi dictator's popularity hasn't gone down well with everyone. The leader of the Jewish community in Belgrade has condemned Zabunovic's marketing ploy as a dangerous "banalization" of the German dictator.
Despite public outrage in Serbia, not much can be done under Serbian law to persuade the hotelier to change his controversial choices.
Like all Serbs — who were persecuted alongside Jews and gypsies during the Nazi occupation — Zabunovic does not have any kind of admiration for Hitler. But sitting in the lobby of his new hotel surrounded by statues of former U.S. Presidents Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Madison, he says he refuses to exclude him.
"It is wrong not to have Hitler in Madame Tussaud and other museums," he told ABC News. "All his victims would turn in their graves if nowhere it is reminded what a monstrous criminal he was."
Hitler's portrait overlooks a king-size bed; he wears a military uniform, with a swastika on the left arm. But a night with what many still consider one of history's greatest madmen comes cheaper than most. The rate for the Hitler room is $200, less than half the price of the Tito suite at $500 a night.
It maybe a tactless room to Most of us.But the fact is there are some I presume warped people that would choose to stay in & Honor a modern disgrace to Humanity,or they rather save $300 and stay in a cheaper room.What ever the motives,I as a simple American choose to allow,nay defend Any Humans right to freedom of thought & speech.I guess that would include sleep in.Like someone said there is no counting for taste or choice.If we deny one there rights today.History has shown via this same man how Human rights can be destroyed to the point that Human Life has NO value.As Hitler,Stalin,and dozens of other modern petty dictators have/are(today)killing on what ever scale we as a world allow.The One thing we are Positive of.If we has Humans try to wipe out all memory of such People.History will be certain that another will use more effective(modern) techniques to slaughter fellow man faster & more effectively.I hope & pray that people view the room in light of what Hitler chose to stand for and do to our world for a second in the time of the world.