Bandung Officials to Question Owner of Nazi-Themed Cafe

By Yuli Krisna on 09:07 pm Jul 17, 2013
Category Crime, Featured, News
Henry Mulyana, foreground, operates the Soldatenkaffee in Bandung, which is decorated with Nazi paraphanelia and has staff dressed in costumes reminiscent of the SS. (JG Photo/Yuli Krisna)

Henry Mulyana, foreground, operates the Soldatenkaffee in Bandung, which is decorated with Nazi paraphanelia and has staff dressed in costumes reminiscent of the SS. (JG Photo/Yuli Krisna)

[Updated at 11:16 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, 2013]

Bandung. The Bandung administration has admitted that a local cafe that sprang to notoriety for its Nazi-themed decor is not violating any municipal statutes but can be brought up on broader charges of inciting racism.

Ayi Vivananda, the Bandung deputy mayor, said on Wednesday that his office was looking into the case of the Soldatenkaffee, whose walls are adorned with Nazi-related memorabilia and whose staff wear SS uniforms.

“We’re checking it out, but for now there’s no specific prohibition on displaying Nazi symbols,” he said.

But he added that those symbols were “internationally acknowledged to represent violence and racism,” and that racism was clearly prohibited under the state ideology.

However, in order to bring any racism charges against the cafe’s owner, Ayi said it would be necessary to first determine whether he had set out to deliberately incite racial hatred.

“We’ll call him in for questioning about his reason for putting up these symbols. What’s clear is that no one is allowed to incite hatred or racism,” Ayi said.

The cafe, on Bandung’s Jalan Pasar Kaliki, was set up in April 2011 by Henry Mulyana and features a prominent Nazi theme, including pictures of Adolf Hitler, swastika flags and waiters in SS uniforms.

Henry, who insists he does not idolize Hitler or subscribe to the Nazi ideology, told the Jakarta Globe that he had no objection to being questioned by municipal authorities.

In an interview earlier this week with the Globe, he said he knew early on that displaying Nazi symbols was going to spark some controversy, “but I decided to go for it because I don’t feel I’m violating any laws.”

  • Dr. Harun

    Maybe a FPI themed cafe is more appropriate?

    • Seiya

      FPI sama NAZI mau dibandingin pak dokter?

      • Deddy K.

        Sama saja sih. Low Disregard for Human Life, Overwhelming need to control for power, Utilizing Idiotic Dogma for justification, Extreme Hypocrism. Just give FPI enough rope and they will use it to strangle everyone that doesn’t conform to them.

  • Darwinista

    The owner doesnot know what he is talkng about. First of all the hitler ideology promotes racism and facism, and Hitler himself didnot even like colored people and thought that the german race was superior. Then again the cafe owner denies the killing of 6 million jews in the face of overwhelming evidence that it actually happened

  • MadWorld

    Displaying such logos, it is obvious that spreading hatred and racism is not allowed?
    Do I read it correctly, “spreading hatred & racism is not allowed?
    What about, MUI, FPI, HTI, GARIS ,KISDI etc , oeps, they are not owners of cafes.

  • DanielKaimana

    Hmm… this is going to be very very interesting to see its end. Henry seems very confident in what he’s doing and the Deputy Mayor has not any legal framework to deal with this case.. Will it lead to a national debate? But just checked, this appeared two months ago in dailymail Another one is quite disturbing actually and no one take legal action on this Is it because of freedom of expression?

    • Wonderer

      Yes, agree. Will be VERY interesting to see, what they make of this…after “checking it out”, presumably over a teh botol and nasi kampoeng served by a chocolate colored SS officer…at least we can get some comfort from knowing that Mr. Adolf chokes in his grave too, albeit for other reasons than we choke)!

    • GypsyMacaque

      Yes , the other side of democrazy includes lots of freedom, this Nazism is benign compared to on wahhabism.

  • Peter Griffin

    What an insensitive idiot…

    • Seija

      money blinded :D

    • AMPD

      Peter!… He (Henry Mulyana)’s not an insensitive idiot… he’s just an IDIOT!!!… ;-)

  • Kangkung

    Hating jews is a crime here? No it’s a national sport.

  • Mordechai Yirmiyahu

    SS Nazi is Caucasian and 6 footer. Not Asian and 5.5 ft and a diminutive waist. #LOL

  • Wonderer

    Just because there may be no law prohibiting it, doesn’t make it the right thing to do…

    I also wonder, does he ban all non white tenants because of their “inferiority and lowlyness”? Just asking, because that is pretty much what the SS would have done…at the very least!

    • John Grim

      Well actually, several bars and clubs does that in Bali, including the one that got bombed in 2002

  • bongo fury

    the world is a mess

  • Roland

    First off – Neo-Nazis (those brainless thugs with short cropped hair, DocMartens and Swastika tattoos), as by some local readers listed have nothing to do with National Socialism – they are in a broad sense just to be compared with the brown shirts – the strong arm of the Nazis who like to beat people up for artificial charges against them – same as the FPI and related groups are now doing in the name of religion.

    National-Socialists are educated and intelligent men in suits and tie and look like you and me. They did and do it for power and money.

    But I am actually not all too surprised that National Socialism falls here in certain areas on fertile ground – the key-points of its ideology is quite ingrained in Indonesian society too – exaggerated superior nationalism regardless of the reality (not patriotism!), automatically included is the racial superiority of a clearly defined group with clearly defined ideals – the ” Uebermensch”(here it’s the Javanese), the fatherland (here Java as the heartland and centre), declaring certain groups as inferior – in Germany it was the Jews, the gypsies (a class in which probably Indonesians would also fall simply declared to be “Untermenschen”, sub-humans to be used as labourers – here it’s the poor and under-educated) – then we have still people from other islands, religious minorities, the Chinese…), the mentally sick and physically deformed (they are getting here hidden in shame too), the tendency for mysticism and symbolism (let’s not forget the Swastika was imported by Hitler from Hinduism – that’s why one can find many times this symbol in Bali and is therefore for many Indonesians nothing “new”), the inferiority of women to men while in the same time artificially upholding those “motherly values” – using them as breeding machines. There are many more examples which are here to multiple to define, as for example declaring certain areas as having been ALWAYS Indonesians, same as the National-Socialists did with areas in Europe they wanted to re-conquer – something which made Germans proud after a lost WW1 and a galloping inflation.

    In any case Goebbels would be so very proud to know that his propaganda machine until today has strong influence – more than 70 years later.

  • Jack Frost

    nothing’s wrong with Nazi cafe, the restless are just some naziphobic.

    • Sam Man

      You have a problem to man.

      • Jack Frost

        what problem? What is the difference between Nazi Cafe and strip Bar? The theme, that’s all. I don’t even care if they build Jugun Ianfu themed Cafe or

        Marocchinate themed cafe. As long as just a theme there’s no harm on it.

    • Wonderer

      Yes, I openly confess to being ‘naziphobic’!

      • Jack Frost

        Naziphobic is fine, but Nazi Cafe got no harm on it.

  • Serigala-Berbulu-Domba

    Henry Mulyana’s echoing of Iran’s Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust represents an equally deranged mindset at work.

    • AMPD

      here here!!!… but, just for the sake of collecting money from some customers who haven’t learnt thoroughly the history of the Nazi and WW II…

  • Anton Punkq

    Judge each day, not by the harvest, but by the seeds
    you plant. Btw., “Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and
    instinct, not by rule.” (G. K. Chesterton)

  • DanielKaimana

    Wonderer, what would be that “for other reasons?” Really, I simply wonder.

    • Wonderer

      I don’t know about you, but I choke at the sight of SS uniforms, while he would at the sight of the chocolate ‘filling’…

  • DanielKaimana

    Interesting… It’s hard to swallow but sounds promising explanations. Indeed… Only if you don’t mind, I (and perhaps GJ readers too) would like to be enlightened the correlation between as you said “National-Socialists” and FPI?

    • John Grim

      FPI is a paramilitary group, Just like the HitlerJungend

  • bates

    As I don’t know one Indonesian who has actually read books, or one that knows anything about world history, and as most don’t even know there was a world war, one or two, it is not surprising that the customers in the picture look completely unaware and disinterested in the decor around them. I guarantee if you stopped randomly a dozen or so Indonesians in the street and asked who Hitler was, the answer is as likely to be, “a new brand of jeans?”. This idiot Henry Mulyana is just trying to drum up business in the only way his tiny little bigoted mind knows how, immorally.

    After all, let us not forget that the same forces that defeated Hitler and his allies, and saved the world from that monsters twisted dreams, also saved Indonesia.

    • yuwonosigit

      You might want to find more Indonesian friends, other than you already know, to avoid generalization.

    • Fafa

      Wooow, What a generalization with a single case. There might be a lacking education in indonesia, yes correct there might be a lot of cases where indonesia is not aware of this. But, not all of us.

  • yuwonosigit

    Well, at least the cafe got big publicity, be it good or bad.

    Now it’s time for the owner to really consider if the profit really worth all the trouble, and is his hobby really worth to stand up for. Because despite all of his supporters, when this thing become a legal issue, it’s every man for himself.

  • TGIF

    Can you name at least who may know world history? You will be surprised that even an Indonesian cab driver would know about who Mussolini is let alone Hitler..the problem is that most may not care about the issue. They have more other things to worry. By the way Nazism,and white supremacist far right movement are pretty much alive in all corners of Europe.

    On another note, why don’t you stand on a US corner street and ask passers by if they can pinpoint where Australia is on the map…I bet you they are clueless. This survey has been done in the US by the way. It is shameful but most don’t know geography. Same difference here.

    • bates

      Sorry but Indonesians are sadly lacking in general knowledge. Its not entirely their fault. There is simply no encouragement for Indonesians to read books, and they don’t, its that simple. The Indonesian education system is one of the worst in the world, and is run by corrupt and incompetent administrators who care nothing about quality of learning. And what you say about Mussolini, well its simply not true.

      • TGIF

        What makes it not true that a person picked randomly on a street corner in Jakarta would not know who Mussolini is? Huh perhaps so but don’t be surprised if one do know…lol

  • Voxclara

    Henry, who insists he does not idolize Hitler or subscribe to the Nazi ideology, told the Jakarta Globe that he had no objection to being questioned by municipal authorities.

    In an interview earlier this week with the Globe, he said he knew early on that displaying Nazi symbols was going to spark some controversy, “but I decided to go for it because I don’t feel I’m violating any laws.”

    One word: IDIOT !

    • Wonderer

      Like “I pressed out a loud and enormously smelly fart in the crowded elevator because I don’t feel I was violating any laws”

    • Jack Frost

      Not violating laws, that’s true. No harm either….

      He got money, and he got concept how to gain his own customer, and he didn’t do any harm. That’s it!

  • Wonderer

    Well, it is more like “what’s the difference between torture chamber themed cafe and nazi themed cafe”…but ultimately I have to admit you may have a point there.
    Of course the question springs to mind also: “then what is the difference between nazi themed cafe and buddah themed cafe” which was in fact banned some time ago in Jakarta? And don’t say “buddah is a religious object”…a nazi themed cafe is just as offending to jews, if not more so, I imagine.
    For avoidance of doubt: I do of course not mean to to say a buddah is in any way related or comparable to nazi symbols, but both were/are cafe themes.

    • Jack Frost

      Buddha bar? To me it’s not a big deal. Those Buddhist are just oversensitive about the stuff and yelling like crazy. I dun care about whatever themed Bar as long as they give a good service and no harm.

      • TalkingEid

        How about a cafe depicting members of your family being gassed and tortured?

        • Jack Frost

          Irrelevant… those customers weren’t Jews and Not even the family member of Holocaust’s victims stopped by…

  • Firewallix

    he should try PKI theme instead, that won’t need 2 years to attract attention from authorities.. genius way to be famous and inviting troubles

  • cokro

    I am
    writing this as an Indonesian who knows Hitler and Holocaust in general who could
    only offer sympathy to the victim and families of Holocaust. We, most of
    Indonesian could not feel the pain and sorrow as much as that of our European
    and American friends feels about Hitler atrocities. Therefore, I surprised with the comments here
    on the restaurant in Bandung that said can be potentially inciting racism.
    Inciting racism where? Please be honest
    and don’t answer this question with a drama queen attitude.

    So far
    I know Indonesians are more interesting to discuss about many local bloody conflicts
    and massacres like beheading campaign in Sampang and other Kalimantan area
    during Dayaknese- Maduranese conflicts, May Riots, Maluku conflict in which
    Moslem – Christian kills each other with no mercy or G30S PKI controversy than
    Holocaust. With respect to the victims and families, we see Holocaust as a
    small and unimportant issue comparing with many local events that directly
    affect us.

    I can
    truly understand the position of the owner who expressed his voice in defending
    his position because he is like many Indonesians see Hitler. We see swastika or picture of Hitler just
    like Osama Bin Laden or Che Guevara face or I love New York in a cheap t shirt.
    We see those kind of pictures including the restaurant with Nazi Goreng in its
    menu as a part of pop culture that will be going away soon. Acting like a drama
    queen on this matter is a free advertisement to the restaurant. I f I were the
    owner, I will put all your comments and translate it into Indonesian slangs to attract
    the people enjoy the food and read the comments
    from you all with hope they will find out more about Hitler and Holocaust in Library
    or internet.

    • DanielKaimana

      I like this line “don’t answer this question with a drama queen attitude”

      what does it mean?

  • AMPD

    Here here!!! I fully agree with you, mas…

  • Basil

    So, no problems if I open a warung celebrating the genocide of the Timorese? It’s not breaking any laws so maybe I should ‘go for it’?

  • DanielKaimana

    Oh ok.. I thought Roland is trying to build a theory that FPI is a socialist group.