During World War II, whenever they got the chance, the German soldiers went to cafes called Soldatenkaffee (Soldier’s Cafe) in Nazi-occupied Paris. Those cafes probably no longer exist, but a namesake opened in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, in Indonesia, invites people to step its threshold. Inside, customers can admire a portrait of Adolf Hitler that it’s centrally located, above the fireplace, while the walls are adorned with a wrought iron Third Reich eagle, swastikas, posters, flags and Nazi propaganda. Also, the same walls host the Führer’s best quotes.
The waiters serving the food here are dressed in Waffen SS uniform and Nazi armbands. Nevertheless, the owner, Henry Mulyana, insists that his café is not a Nazi-themed restaurant: “This cafe’s theme is World War II”.
The restaurant first opened its doors in 2011 and Henry was forced to close it due to the global outrage it generated. He received many death threats and the local authorities forced him to explain his reasons. Mulyana said he was not pro-Nazi and he had just chose that theme to attract customers, but he also claims that there is not proof that could show the Nazis were the ones responsible for the Holocaust: “Controversy will always exist, depending on from what side we’re looking from,” he said. “The way I see it, the Nazis didn’t commit slaughter.”
Soldatenkaffee remained closed for three years in a row and opened again in June, 2014. Now, the café also hosts pictures of Stalin and Churchill, mannequins wearing different military uniforms and also British, French, American, Japanese and Dutch military memorabilia.
“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,” Mulyana said in a press conference during the grand re-opening.