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Published On: Thu, Jul 18th, 2013

Soldatenkaffee: The Nazi-themed restaurant in Indonesia stirs debate

A restaurant in West Java has caused some controversy because of it’s Nazi-theme, which includes a whole wall adorn with Nazi memorabilia, a large flag with the swastika and a giant picture of Adolf Hitler.

At Soldatenkaffee, the waiters at the cafe dress in uniforms similar to those worn by officers of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi paramilitary.

Soldatenkaffee Image/Facebook (cropped)

Soldatenkaffee
Image/Facebook (cropped)

What explains Indonesian relaxed attitude towards these items most would find offensive? Some say an ignorance of history, some say how Indonesians deal with race and stereotypes.

The owner of Soldatenkaffee, Henry Mulyana, told the Jakarta Globe, “I realized that displaying the Nazi symbol was going to spark some controversy, but I decided to go for it because I don’t feel I’m violating any laws.

“Controversy will always exist, depending on from what side we’re looking from. The way I see it, the Nazis didn’t commit slaughter. War is crime, so there will always be acts of murder in a war.

“Even during the Dutch colonization of Indonesia, many Indonesians were killed. This is also the case with Americans and their bombing of Hiroshima. Why are the Nazis seen as bad guys while those belligerent nations are not?”

Related story: Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University ‘deeply regrets’ mural with Adolf Hitler

Mulyana also told the Indonesian news source that  there was no proof the Nazis were responsible for the Holocaust, the genocide of about 6 million Jews during World War II.

He says this while denying knowledge of Nazi ideology, “I’m not personally familiar with the [Nazi] ideology, but even if I am, I don’t think I’d find it completely disagreeable. For example, communism in Indonesia was prohibited, but it’s flourishing in China. Maybe it’s just a matter of politics”, he stated.

On the restaurant’s website it describes a short story of Soldatenkaffee:

Hitler & the Nazis in Pop Culture… Every Day!

This WEB is not pro NAZI. It is matter of fact, with the intention of exploring Hitler & the NAZIS as pop culture Kaffee. The authors of the WEB are not NAZIS or neo-NAZIS,We are Indonesian with no political affiliations. The WEB & Kaffee are concept of World War 2 German and Collection.

According to an Associated Press report, Ayi Vivananda, deputy mayor of Bandung, said a letter was sent Thursday summoning cafe owner Henry Mulyana to meet with officials to discuss his motives for opening the cafe and whether his objective was to incite racial hatred.

“I’m just a businessman, not a politician,” Mulyana said. “I have a right to design my restaurant with anything that attracts people to come. I’m sure that I’m not violating any laws.”

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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