Man Opens Nazi Cafe, Baffled That It Pisses People Off

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.

"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."

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

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

To this:

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

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.

"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."

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.

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

Soldaten Kaffee [Facebook]


Comments

    What a curious anomaly of globalism. I think I couldn't possibly be more offended than I am bewildered. I speak as someone who is still dealing with the shock-waves of that war in my own family.

    The death threats are equally concerning. How can such a tactic be justified? Naivety aside, these seem like lovely people all the same.

      You seem like a cool person, just sayin.

    I hope he includes the countless photos of mass-graves. You know, for authenticity.

    One part of me is kind of curious, since I'm too young to have been affected by any post-war influences... But the other part of me respects that this may hit just a little close to home for some people...

    The death threats are a lil uncalled for, these seem like decent people with no ill intentions. It's not like they're planning to start WWIII or anything.

    I am conflicted about this. On one hand, free speech and all. He should be able to open a restaurant with whatever theme he wants.
    On the other hand, Hitler. Really? Fuck this guy.

      on the third hand, your missing the point

      his society and culture doesnt have the same stigma attached to nazism.

      essentially they dont really get taught in school about how evil the nazis were
      for them its more like. There was a war 60 years ago, and there wre two main sides, the allies and the nazis who wore nice military suits and almost singlehandedly took over the world.

      Atrocities aside, you can see how an independent third party would be attracted to that.

      He didnt mean anything malicious, he just wastn aware of other people's sensitivities. or did you not bother reading the article at all?

      You sound more ignorant than he does.

        ^^ this. I was waiting for someone to say this. Most countries (especially in Asia) don't fully understand the horrors of WWII. Being Indian myself, I can tell you that Nazism doesn't really strike a chord with Indians. The same way people in Germany or Europe are oblivious/indifferent towards the mass exodus or killings during the India/Pakistan partition in 1947. Both were gruesome and horrific, but you can't expect a country to empathise with an event like the Holocaust that had practically zero to do with it or be affected by it.

        Last edited 30/07/13 10:49 am

          A number of Asian news outfits have discussed the apparent trend in South/Southeast Asia (also: the oil-sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf), amongst some circles, to a kind of admiration for the nationalist elements of Nazism. For some of Hitler's ideas, just not the genocide bits. Hard to get my head around, looking on from the outside.

          Flipside of this is places like Myanmar/Burma, where ultra-nationalists there use as inspiration/further fuel for their pogroms of the Rohingya ethnic minority.

          Last edited 30/07/13 12:53 pm

          Asian countries understand WW2 better than most i would argue. Replace Nazis with Japanese. But i get your point.

            Exactly. People seem to forget WW2 also included the Pacific war.

            Last edited 30/07/13 7:04 pm

    I see his point and understand his point and I do hope he sticks to his guns. If it really is just a "themed" restaurant with no malicious intent and assuming it is fair on both sides (Allied Vs Axis(Allies Winning)) then all good.

    My grandmother was in a POW camp for years and I have family from Germany who were in forced labor camps. Death threats are uncalled for and really make everyone else look bad.

    Most people won't understand, because we're Westerners. We got the whole Holocaust thing happening to us. But they didn't, so why would they see it as wrong to do? I mean, if someone opened up a restaurant celebrating a Japanese tyrant from a few hundred years back, we wouldn't see anything wrong with it because we don't have the cultural significance behind it.

    And you know what, I'm all for this. Maybe it's because I was born some 40 years after the war ended (almost), maybe it's because I never cared about history, but I support making the whole subject less taboo. I support tearing down whatever it is that makes society reel at the thought of something that happened so long ago

    Here we have a culture that hasn't been touched and dirtied by the act like ours has. Let that culture be, let it flourish, let it express itself instead of trying to restrict it and force our taboos on it

      Yeah. I'm reminded of that recent kerfuffle with Wargaming.net and their upcoming World of Battleships. The Koreans have complained very loudly and intensely about the use of the Japanese naval flag, the rising sun. Their claims are basically that the use of the symbol is traumatic and offensive because of the atrocities committed under it.

      Any Westerner who dismisses those objections, then goes and whines about an unaffected Indonesian setting up a nazi-themed LOCAL restaurant 'because it's interesting', is the worst kind of hypocrite.

      And personally, I don't think wargaming should've removed the flag because of Korean complains, and I don't think an Indonesian restauranteur should change his shop because of Westerners who were not going to and will not go to his restaurant.

    so what? we're getting offended by history now?

    damn it people, Nazis happened, they were a thing, are you suddenly gonna get offended that they teach WWII history at school because they inevitably tell them about Hitler? are you so paralyzed by the symbol that you forget the people you should really fear are the actual Nazis? not their flag.

    lets go threaten Nazi war memorials! they are SOOOOOOOO offensive right guys?

    why can't we just have one cafe with a nazi theme? it wasn't supporting nazi ideals, it wasn't trying to bring them back into power, they just wanted to sell cakes and burgers with some snazzy nazi themed decorations... was that too much to ask?

      I take issue with your post. It reads as though it is written by someone too young to undertsand, or too bull headed to care that anything related to Nazis has to be handled delicately, especially since there are still millions alive today who were directly affected by their insanity.

      Im sure the owner meant know harm, and on the personal note the cafe doesnt bother me.

        im pretty sure not every single nazi was evil

        most were just young boys drafted into the war or joined because everyone else joined, or else youd be an outcast or get killed

          ^This is indeed true.

          Not all Cats are tigers.
          Not all dogs are pitbulls.
          Not all cars are monster trucks.
          Just as not all Germans were Nazis.

          A man named Adolf Hitler led a party named the Nazis. They were all members of the National Socialist Party in Germany. This party was established in Munich in 1919 and in 1921 it was taken over by Adolf Hitler. It was from the outset dominated by hatred and 'anti' attitudes: it was antisemitic, anti-Marxist and anti-democratic.

          The Nazi party peaked in strength during WWII. Not all Germans were Nazis and many Germans lived in fear of Hitler and the Nazi Party. But many Germans supported Hitler, for ending the depression.

          The NAZI (An abbreviation for Nationalsozialism, "National socialism) was a political party in Germany from the early 1900's to the end of WW2 (and still refusing to go away even today in isolated pockets around the world). They took power by means of deception, coercion and blackmail and caused Europe to go to war as they invaded country after country and were led (primarily) by Adolph Hitler.

          Their general philosophy was that the Germans (specifically, the "Aryans", those with blue eyes and blonde hair) were evolutionarily superior and so took it upon themselves to attempt to systematically wipe everyone else off the face of the earth.

          By mixing sloganism (and a rather effective propoganda machine in general), bits of occult philosophy, and a general rejection of those viewed as having brought about Germany's downfall at the end of World War 1 (including communists, Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Christians/Catholics, the mentally and physically handicapped and others), they were able to mobilize vast numbers of the population very quickly and take most of Europe by surprise.

          Source: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_were_the_Nazis

          So guys, no more of this 'fuck this guy in the arse' stuff. Fuck IGNORANCE in the ass. A little education goes a long way.

        I had relatives die in the war, I get that it sucked and ruined lives, but being offended by the enemies flags and photos after the fact is stupid. be offended by the person, not some arbitrary symbol they adopted.

    This article really bothered me... I mean, why didn't he call the shop Luftwaffles?

      That tripod song was awesome, and people should always name restaurants with puns, where possible. It's the classy thing to do.

        I just found a little drinking establishment called Bar Hum Bug :)

      Clearly because he doesn't sever waffles. And I wanted to end this with a classy cake based Nazi pun but I've got nothing

    So did he include the memorabilia about the Nazi "genocidey-bits" too?

    That was pretty SYMBOLIC of the Nazis too alas. I didn't see any SS uniforms did you? Or did that bit get omitted because he thought someone might get "OFFENDED BY HISTORY"?

    I think he was guilty of "cherry picking" the Nazi's war effort - just a tad.

    WWII theme with allies and axis powers is fine - but sanitising the Nazi war effort is not.

      Choosing to fill the restaurant with atrocities instead of impressive displays of military might is a very weird thing to do.

      The thing is, depending on where you were standing, pretty much every major military has done some really horrible, awful things. Firebombing of civilian targets was incredibly widespread during WW2 . If you were to only pick the horrific things to put in your restaurant, you'd have no shortage of options available to you. The Germans might've put more on the table to choose from, but cherry-picking would seem to be kind of the point.

      If you want to look at the war from the perspective of how impressive the armies involved were in their battle prowess, regardless of the atrocities they committed, that might make for a more palatable dining experience.
      And the Germans had some impressive fighters, vehicles, and leaders.

      The Australian military actually asks prospective officers to name impressive/inspirational leaders (military or otherwise) in history, and they note that they aren't looking for 'nice', just impressive, so as long as you were pointing out positive traits, they'd happily accept Hitler as an example.

      While I do agree that it would have been better it he balanced it with some Allied themes.... it's not like a Roman themed restaurant would have a fresco of people being hacked apart for entertainment or a Cowboy themed bar have imagery of them running down american indians.

      I'm not saying that you're wrong exactly... but some level of sanitising is just standard as obvious as the food must be tasty.

    I've decided that after 100 years it's ok to do this type of thing, gives all the people that were involved time to pass away and be un-offended. Then when it's all clear we can throw a Nazi 'party' hehe, get it? nazi... party... yeah, nevermind.

      I was 7 years old at school when 5 people beat me to a bloody mess and spat on me calling me a Nazi . I was born in Australia but I have german grandparents so I have a Germany surname . Is 100 years really enough time that it's okay to trivialized such things. Evil is still being done in the Nazi name today, just doesn't have as good a publicist these days.

    this is hilarious. Look at all the people getting offended. Fact is, it's a military themed cafe/restaurant thing and he chose the nazis because he probably liked their uniforms and color scheme. In some parts of the world, opening a US military themed restaurant would be offensive, in other parts it's not. Get over it. It's not like he's opening this in Germany or Israel.

    I guess to the Indonesians, this is not too far off from Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great themed restaurant. They're marauders who got celebrated today for their conquest despite the devastation they caused. Give it a few hundred years and Hitler might become a hero.

    So is Thomas the tank engine is ferrying jews to the death camps? Perhaps the dessert menu is called The Final Solution

    I can kind of get the appeal of an exploration of ww2 pop culture but I don't quite get why they thought a café would be the best context

    I dont have a problem with the cafe personally. But I am somewhat concerned by the level of dismissiveness towards the Nazis record in this thread. Yes pretty much every nation that has ever gone to war has commited war crimes at one point, but Im not sure some commentors here truly understand the level to which Nazi Germany took it.

    There are still millions alive today who were directly affected by Hitler and his henchmen. Thats how recent it was. Im not calling for the closure of this place, Im just asking for a little compassion for the people who might hold a different view.

    I live in Thailand and this has been all over the news recently because the Thais are generally quite liberal with the use of Nazi-themed imagery as well.

    In recent times they have had a school parade with one group of students dressed up and goose-stepping along in Nazi uniforms and just the other week a top university included Hitler in a graduation banner depicting various superheroes.

    http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2013/07/12/achtung-chula-students-celebrate-graduation-hitler

    The big one was a recent chicken store called Hitler Fried Chicken, complete with a parody of the KFC logo featuring Hitler instead of Colonel Sanders.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356705/Fried-chicken-takeaway-called-Hitler-opens-Thailand-comes-complete-logo-Nazi-leader-bow-tie.html

    It is very baffling for sure. At some point though, the world will need to move on, though certainly trivialising it at this point in time is still a sore topic.

    Last edited 30/07/13 3:35 pm

    Wow. No words.

    1 choc dipped waffel SS please.

    If Hitler had tried to kill anyone and everyone other than Jews you would never have heard of him. He didn't invent genocide (that phrase was coined by a Jew to better exploit the situation after the war) and he was not the last to indulge. I swear Pavlov would be amazed at the level of conditioning our society has been subjected to on this subject.
    And isn't saying all Nazis are evil the same as saying all Jews are greedy and devious?

    The owner did NAZI this coming?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now