Mon, Nov 13, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Museum in Indonesia removes Hitler waxwork

AP, JAKARTA

An Indonesian woman takes a selfie with a wax sculpture of Adolf Hitler against a backdrop of Auschwitz concentration camp at the De Mata Trick Eye museum in Yogyakarta on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

An Indonesian visual effects museum that encouraged visitors to take selfies with a waxwork of Adolf Hitler against a giant image of the Auschwitz concentration camp has removed the exhibit after protests.

The De Mata Trick Eye Museum’s marketing officer said the statue was removed on Friday night following an Associated Press story highlighting outrage from Jewish and rights groups.

Human Rights Watch had denounced the exhibit as “sickening” and the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which campaigns against Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, had demanded its immediate removal.

The museum, which has waxworks of about 80 famous people, had the Hitler figure on display since 2014.

It initially defended the exhibit as “fun” and said it was one of the most popular waxworks with visitors to the infotainment-style museum in Yogyakarta.

The space at the museum occupied by Hitler — sandwiched between a waxwork of Mao Zedong (毛澤東) seated at a table before a blow-up photograph of the main entrance to Beijing’s Forbidden City and one of Darth Vader — was empty yesterday and the image of Auschwitz, where more than 1 million people were exterminated by the Nazi regime, was gone.

It was not the first time Nazism and its symbols have been normalized or even idealized in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation and home to a tiny Jewish community.

A Nazi-themed cafe in the city of Bandung where waiters wore SS uniforms caused anger abroad for several years until reportedly closing its doors at the beginning of this year.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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