Friday, 19 July 2013

Nazi Cafe: Indonesian Owner 'No Fan Of Hitler'

The owner of a Nazi-themed cafe in Indonesia has defended his decision to cover the walls with a flag bearing the swastika and a giant picture of Adolf Hitler, saying it has been good for business.
Staff at the Soldatenkaffee (Soldier Cafe) dress in Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe (air force) and Heer (army) uniforms, and can be seen posing in front of the building on its Facebook page.
The cafe, located in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, one of Indonesia's tourist destination cities, has been open since April 2011.
Indonesia's Nazi cafe
Local officials want the cafe owner to explain his theme. Pic: Facebook
But a recent article in a local English-language newspaper provoked a backlash from both foreigners and Indonesians on social networking sites.
Authorities in Indonesia plan to ask the restaurant owner to explain his reasons for choosing a Nazi theme for the cafe.
Nazi cafe Indonesia's Nazi cafe
A large flag with a swastika is on display in the cafe. Pic: Facebook
Ayi Vivananda, the deputy mayor of Bandung, said a letter was sent on Thursday summoning cafe owner Henry Mulyana to a meeting to ask whether his objective was to incite racial hatred.
"Those symbols are internationally recognised to represent violence and racism," Mr Vivananda said.
Indonesia's Nazi cafe
The cafe in Bandung has been open since 2011
But Mr Mulyana has insisted he did not want to breed hatred. Instead, he said he wanted to decorate his restaurant with Nazi symbols to attract customers, both local and foreigners.
He also denied being pro-Nazi or supporting Hitler.
"I'm just a businessman, not a politician," Mr 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."
Indonesia's Nazi cafe
Cafe owner Henry Mulyana denies his cafe is pro-Nazi. Pic: Facebook
He said the recent controversy has forced him to temporarily close his restaurant, but declined to say whether he would consider changing the Nazi theme if authorities requested him to do so.
"Let's wait and see," he said. "I don't want the workers here to lose their jobs."


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