Nazi-Themed Cafe Relents Amid International Pressure
The owner of a Nazi-themed cafe in central Indonesia agreed on Monday to close down his shop after coming under a whirlwind of international pressure.
Henry Mulyana, owner of the Soldatenkaffee in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, met with local authorities Monday and agreed to worldwide demands.
Since learning of the Nazi-themed café, officials and anti-hate groups have expressed concerns about the cafe's motives and worried it is inciting hate and racism.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center had been “reaching out to senior Indonesian diplomats to express on behalf of our 400,000 members and victims of the Nazi Holocaust our outrage and disgust," Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the AFP news agency.
"We expect that all appropriate measures will be taken to close down this business celebrating a genocidal ideology that at its core denigrates people of color and all non-Aryans," he wrote.
Mulyana has maintained that he is not a neo-Nazi and his intentions were not to promote hate, but rather that he used the Nazi theme and symbols to attract customers.
He said he is considering his options, but will not reopen the Soldatenkaffee cafe.
The cafe opened in 2011, but recent media reports about its Nazi-related memorabilia, including a red wall with a portrait of Adolf Hitler and a flag with a swastika symbol, prompted international uproar.
It is the second time this month that Nazi images have provoked controversy in Southeast Asia.
Last week, a university in Thailand came under similar pressure for displaying a billboard that showed Adolf Hitler alongside Superman and other superheroes, claiming it didn’t realize that realize Hitler's image would offend passersby.