After Outcry, Indonesian Museum Removes Statue of Adolf Hitler

The wax statue was a main attraction at the De Mata Trick Eye Museum in central Java, and visitors often took selfies with it

An Indonesian woman takes a selfie with a life-size wax sculpture of Adolf Hitler at a museum in Yogyakarta, November 10, 2017.
An Indonesian woman takes a selfie with a life-size wax sculpture of Adolf Hitler at a museum in Yogyakarta, November 10, 2017. HENRYANTO/AFP

An Indonesian museum has taken down a statue of Adolf Hitler with a photo of the Auschwitz concentration camp in the background after a Jewish group expressed outrage.

The wax Hitler statue was one of the main attractions at the De Mata Trick Eye Museum in the central Java city of Yogyakarta, with visitors often taking selfies with it. 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based Jewish group that campaigns against anti-Semitism, had called the statue "disgusting" and demanded its removal.

"I can confirmed that the statue has been removed," said Andreas Harsono, an Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch.

"We welcomed the decision because, regardless the intention, depicting Hitler as if he were a respected figure is in bad taste," he said Saturday.

Jamie Misbach, the museum's operational manager, told BBC Indonesia that they had not meant to offend. "We apologize. It was not out intention to disrespect anyone," he said.

De Mata's website says it is a 3D art museum where visitors will not get bored and can take selfies with more than 100 statues featuring political leaders, superheroes and celebrities.

It was not the first time an Indonesian establishment has been criticized for Holocaust insensitivity. 

A Nazi-themed cafe in the West Java city of Bandung was forced to close down in 2013 following criticism of its Nazi decorations, including a giant picture of Adolf Hitler and an array of swastikas.

It was then reopened in 2014, with the theme broadened to include World War II images in general, but some Nazi images were retained. 

It was closed down for good in January, with the owner citing lack of patronage.