Indonesia Nazi coffeehouse causes outrage

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Soldatenkaffee
Indonesian locals posing in historic uniforms in front of the Nazi-themed Soldatenkaffee in Bandung, Java.

Nazi-themed restaurants, cafés and artwork seem to enjoy high popularity in Southeast Asia. After an outrage over an Hitler-styled chicken restaurant in Thailand and a university mural in Bangkok depicting German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the next scandal now emerged in Indonesia.

A so-called Soldatenkaffee (Soldier’s coffee house) in Bandung in Central Indonesia closed down “temporarily” on July 22 over strong pressure from locals and international protest. The café was named after popular hangouts for soldiers in Germany and occupied Paris during World War II.

The venue opened in 2011 and boasted Nazi-related memorabilia, including a red wall with a portrait of Adolf Hitler and a flag with a swastika symbol, which has – unlike in Thailand – prompted angry responses from foreigners and Indonesians. There were also gas mask canisters as decoration and staff used to wear t-shirts with Nazi symbols. Other memorabilia included bajonets, lanterns and other war-related stuff, bought through respective Internet shops. Food on offer included German schnitzel and beer.

Henry Mulyana, the café’s creator and owner, defended himself after a Jakarta Post article drew attention to the outlet. He said he did “not intend to bring back memories of the Holocaust”, does not “idolise Hitler” but simply “adores the soldiers’ paraphernalia.”

Mulyana said that his café had also attracted Western guests, including Germans, with one photographed on its Facebook page wearing a red swastika T-shirt along with several Indonesians in the same clothes.

While Indonesian law states that “anyone who deliberately shows hatred towards others based on race or ethnicity” can be jailed for up to five years, authorities did not care about the café so far. Mulyana even said that he plans to open an even bigger branch of the Soldatenkaffee on the popular tourist island of Bali.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a US-based Nazi watchdog center, in the meantime has been reaching out to senior Indonesian diplomats to express “outrage and disgust” over the café.

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Indonesian locals posing in historic uniforms in front of the Nazi-themed Soldatenkaffee in Bandung, Java.

Nazi-themed restaurants, cafés and artwork seem to enjoy high popularity in Southeast Asia. After an outrage over an Hitler-styled chicken restaurant in Thailand and a university mural in Bangkok depicting German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the next scandal now emerged in Indonesia.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Soldatenkaffee
Indonesian locals posing in historic uniforms in front of the Nazi-themed Soldatenkaffee in Bandung, Java.

Nazi-themed restaurants, cafés and artwork seem to enjoy high popularity in Southeast Asia. After an outrage over an Hitler-styled chicken restaurant in Thailand and a university mural in Bangkok depicting German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the next scandal now emerged in Indonesia.

A so-called Soldatenkaffee (Soldier’s coffee house) in Bandung in Central Indonesia closed down “temporarily” on July 22 over strong pressure from locals and international protest. The café was named after popular hangouts for soldiers in Germany and occupied Paris during World War II.

The venue opened in 2011 and boasted Nazi-related memorabilia, including a red wall with a portrait of Adolf Hitler and a flag with a swastika symbol, which has – unlike in Thailand – prompted angry responses from foreigners and Indonesians. There were also gas mask canisters as decoration and staff used to wear t-shirts with Nazi symbols. Other memorabilia included bajonets, lanterns and other war-related stuff, bought through respective Internet shops. Food on offer included German schnitzel and beer.

Henry Mulyana, the café’s creator and owner, defended himself after a Jakarta Post article drew attention to the outlet. He said he did “not intend to bring back memories of the Holocaust”, does not “idolise Hitler” but simply “adores the soldiers’ paraphernalia.”

Mulyana said that his café had also attracted Western guests, including Germans, with one photographed on its Facebook page wearing a red swastika T-shirt along with several Indonesians in the same clothes.

While Indonesian law states that “anyone who deliberately shows hatred towards others based on race or ethnicity” can be jailed for up to five years, authorities did not care about the café so far. Mulyana even said that he plans to open an even bigger branch of the Soldatenkaffee on the popular tourist island of Bali.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a US-based Nazi watchdog center, in the meantime has been reaching out to senior Indonesian diplomats to express “outrage and disgust” over the café.

 

 

 

 

 

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