June 22, 2014
And of course, the Jews are preparing another round of death threats. But the owner apparently has steeled himself.
Following the closure, his lawyer told AFP that Mulyana would later reopen his business with a broader World War II theme and said he would remove all swastikas.
But at the opening on Saturday, three huge iron eagles bearing swastikas were on display, as were WWII propaganda posters bearing the Nazi symbol.
Several young men attended the opening dressed in military outfits, including one bearing a swastika on his arm, and some posed for photos as prisoners of war in a mock interrogation room.
Mulyana has tried to broaden his cafe’s theme by including images of other wartime figures to his collection, including Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin.
“From the beginning I have said that the SoldatenKaffee is not a Nazi cafe. This cafe’s theme is World War II,” Mulyana told reporters at the reopening in the western Java city of Bandung.
“All aspects of the SoldatenKaffee are legal. 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,” he said.
The reports prompted fierce criticism from abroad, particularly from Jewish organisations, including the LA-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which expressed its “outrage and disgust” and called for the cafe’s closure.
The Jewish populaton in Indonesia is tiny, but historians have blamed poor schooling in the country for the lack of awareness and sensitivity of the Holocaust.