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Man Opens Nazi Cafe, Baffled that It Pisses People Off

Illustration for article titled Man Opens Nazi Cafe, Baffled that It Pisses People Off
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Who would have thought that a cafe packed with Nazi memorabilia would make people incredibly angry? Henry Mulyana, that's who.

Back in 2011, the Indonesian businessman opened SoldatenKaffee ("Soldier’s Cafe"), a restaurant filled with Nazi emblazoned decor. After the English-language media recently discovered his cafe, Mulyana received death threats and temporarily closed the establishment. According to AFP, there are plans to reopen the eatery with Allied items, too.

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"So there won't only be photos of Hitler, but Winston Churchill and Indonesian heroes too. There will be Japanese soldiers, not only German soldiers, and no swastikas," Mulyana's lawyer is quoted as saying. There will still be photos of Hitler.

According to Mulyana, the cafe's theme is "World War II pop culture". At a press conference, Mulyana explained, "It's war-themed art that is neither an ideology, extremism, nor racism."

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The website goes further, stating (the blurb's copied over as-is):

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.

We are Special Birthday Cake maker n Wedding Cake, We made by order who want a different thing from the other. Please dont be shy :) to contact US

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Hey, Hitler and Nazis... everyday! Even more naive is the birthday cafe blurb right below it. The cakes tend to range from this:

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Illustration for article titled Man Opens Nazi Cafe, Baffled that It Pisses People Off

To this:

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It seems there have also been the inevitable Nazi-themed cakes:

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Illustration for article titled Man Opens Nazi Cafe, Baffled that It Pisses People Off

The entire thing is completely self-unaware. You can read comments some Indonesian net users are apparently making, many of which also seem totally oblivious.

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Illustration for article titled Man Opens Nazi Cafe, Baffled that It Pisses People Off

"Indonesians didn’t have a traumatic experience with Nazism," historian Zen Rachmat Sugito told Boreno Bulletin. "Nazism is a European taboo. There’s no Nazi-taboo in Indonesia, but it doesn’t mean we deny that the Holocaust happened."

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This isn't only in Indonesia. In many countries throughout Asia, Nazi imagery pops up from time to time, with people seemingly unaware of the weight those symbols carry.

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"I've received countless calls and death threats from locals and foreigners," Mulyana told AFP. "I feel traumatized and shocked."

Mulyana pointed out that he's never denied the Holocaust, nor has he ever denied proof of the atrocities committed during the war. He has, however, created a Nazi-themed restaurant.

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Soldaten Kaffee [Facebook]

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

HokutoAndy
HokutoAndy

Alternate Title: "Westerners shocked that non-Westerners have a different perspective on history!"

How many of you outraged dudes thinking "oh my gawwd do asians not know WW2 history??" know that about Asian history? When you see Britain's Union Jack, what do you think of? When you see Churchill's Bull Dog face, what do you think of? For millions of Asians (especially Indians) they see the world's most vile Empire that killed millions and the racist who despised their people.


Indonesia's history is as diverse and intriguing as anyone's. Right after the Allies liberated Indonesia from the Japanese the Allies began pouring millions into letting Dutch guys return to shoot Indonesians and subjugate them. Indonesia won in the end though (strangely, over a thousand Japanese occupation troops actually 'went native' and sided with the Indonesians in their battle for freedom)

Indonesians don't hate the Dutch, the Japanese, the Americans, or the British for attacking them, so folks from countries that supported Indonesian servitude really don't have much of a right to say what's right or wrong for Indonesia.

The world is a pretty big place, and people have different perspectives towards viewing history.


Chinese military officers even studied in Nazi Germany in their modernization movements.