Authorities in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, one of Indonesia’s tourist destination cities, will be questioning the owner of Soldaten Kaffee over his reasons for opening a Nazi-theme café, AP reported.
The new café includes a wall of Nazi-era memorabilia, including the large swastika flag and giant portrait of Adolf Hitler, without which you can’t really call yourself a Nazi theme café.
The wait staff dresses in SS, or Schutzstaffel military uniforms, and can be seen posing in front of the cafe on its Facebook page.
The cafe has been in business since April 2011, but it took a recent article in a local English-language newspaper, which resulted in angry responses from both foreign tourists and Indonesians, the get the local government interested.
Bandung Deputy Mayor Ayi Vivananda sent a letter Thursday summoning Soldaten Kaffee owner Henry Mulyana to a meeting to discuss whether he could be charged with inciting racial hatred.
“Those symbols are internationally recognized to represent violence and racism,” Vivananda told the AP.
Mulyana denied being a Nazi sympathizer or a fan of Adolf Hitler. “I’m just a businessman, not a politician,” he argued. “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.’’
For the time being, Mulyana has shut down his business, and he might consider a different theme, possibly less controversial. He may also be looking for new workers, because he may have to let his staff go.
It isn’t clear if they returned the SS uniform when the whole thing ended. Which is something one wonders about the actual SS men as well.