Austria Pastry Maker Apologizes for Making Swastika-branded Cakes

Manfred Klaschka says in was a mistake to make the cakes with elaborate Nazi designs on them, claiming he is absolutely not a racist.

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An Austrian pastry maker says he's sorry about baking cakes with Nazi themes after a Holocaust survivors' group revealed that he had been baking cakes with elaborate Nazi designs.

The Mauthausen Committee says the bakery, located in the village of Maria Enzersdorf near Vienna, offers cakes adorned with a sugary swastika or with a baby raising its right hand in a Nazi salute, pictures in his catalogue show.

Cooks hold a cake decorated with a swastika during Nazi-era Germany. Credit: Archive

Pastry chef Manfred Klaschka told broadcaster ORF at his cafe Tuesday that "if someone orders it, I make it."

Willi Mernyi, the chairman of the survivors' group Mauthausen Committee said in response that "this is exactly the sort of thinking led us into the disaster 70 years ago."

However, Klaschka seems to have experienced a change of heart, perhaps in light of the looming criminal investigation against him, telling the Kurier newspaper Thursday it was a mistake to make the cakes and that he has nothing to do with Hitler.

He added he's absolutely not a racist and is currently working on a cake for Turkish clients.

The group pressed charges against Klaschka earlier this week on suspicion that the chef violated laws that ban neo-Nazi activities and the display of Nazi symbols. Austrian law bans the glorification of the Nazi era and attempts to diminish, deny or justify the Holocaust.

The Holocaust awareness group asked Austrian prosecutors to press charges against the pastry shop, and Erich Habitzl, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in Wiener Neustadt, confirmed receipt of the group's request Tuesday but said it was too
early to comment.

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