Indonesian authorities are to ask a restaurant owner to explain his reasons for opening a Nazi-themed cafe that has sparked controversy among residents and tourists.
Officials plan to ask Henry Mulyana, the owner of the Soldatenkaffee (soldiers' café), about his decision to open a Nazi-themed restaurant.
The controversial café, which is located in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, features a whole red wall of Nazi-related memorabilia including images of Hitler, a flag bearing a swastika and Nazi propaganda.
The café has been open since April 2011 in Bandung, one of Indonesia's tourist destination cities, but the row over its contents only erupted after an article in a local English-language newspaper.
Ayi Vivananda, deputy mayor of Bandung, said a letter was sent on Thursday summoning café owner Henry Mulyana to meet with officials to discuss his motives for opening the café and whether his objective was to incite racial hatred.
"Those symbols are internationally recognized to represent violence and racism," Vivananda said.
Mulyana says his objective was not to breed hatred. Instead, he said he wanted to decorate his restaurant with Nazi symbols to attract customers, both local and foreigners.
He also denied being pro-Nazi or supporting Hitler, responsible for the deaths of some 6 million Jews during World War II.
"I'm just a businessman, not a politician," Mulyana said. "I have a right to design my restaurant with anything that attracts people to come. I'm sure that I'm not violating any laws."
He said the recent controversy has forced him to temporarily close his restaurant. He declined to say whether he would consider changing the Nazi theme if authorities requested him to do so.
"Let's wait and see," he said. "I don't want the workers here to lose their jobs."
Additional reporting by Associated Press.
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