After some minor redecoration, the Nazi-themed SoldatenKaffee has re-opened in Bandung:
Really, there is no reason you should be offended by the SoldatenKaffee, its owner insists.
True, this cafe in Bandung, Indonesia’s third largest city, features a portrait of Adolf Hitler over its fireplace. There are also giant Third Reich iron eagles bearing swastikas on the wall, next to Nazi posters. And yes, some of its customers are wearing military uniforms and Nazi armbands.
But this is definitely NOT a Nazi-themed place. Nope, not at all.
The owner wants to make this very clear, once for all.
A Nazi swastika insignia sign on the floor decorates the interior of the reopened SoldatenKaffee in Bandung city, western Java island on June 21, 2014. The Nazi-theme cafe in Indonesia that sparked international outrage and closed shop has reopened with its walls still bearing swastikas and a large painting of Adolf Hitler. AFP PHOTO / TIMUR MATAHARI
“We have a lot of customers from Europe and they don’t have a problem with the World War II theme, because it is seen here from a historical perspective,” the owner also said at the cafe’s reopening.
But somehow, the Hitler pictures, Hitler quotes on the wall and swastikas suggest otherwise. The fact that the cafe’s Facebook page is full of Nazi propaganda doesn’t help either.
Knowledge of the Holocaust and the Nazi era is not widespread in Indonesia. Winda, who works in Jakarta but studied in Bandung, says she doesn’t really remember studying the topic at school and only heard about concentration camps after she left. “Perhaps the Holocaust was mentioned, but very briefly, we only heard about Adolf Hitler,” she says. “I think we were taught to dislike the Jews more than the Nazis.”
The owner may not understand why this is of such interest to the Western media, but he clearly knows that keeping that attention on his café is good for business.