Yogyakarta Museum Removes Hitler Wax Statue after Protests

A visual-effects museum in Yogyakarta has removed its display of a waxwork of Adolf Hitler following protests by Jewish and human rights groups who described the exhibit, which stood against a giant image of the Auschwitz extermination camp, as “sickening.”

The waxwork, which has been on display since 2014, is very popular among the visitors of The De Mata Trick Eye Museum, who would often take selfies with the exhibit. However, the museum’s marketing officer said that the statue was removed on Friday night following an Associated Press story highlighting outrage from Jewish and other rights groups.

Among those that denounced the display were Human Rights Watch and the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which campaigns against Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. The latter had also demanded that the exhibit be immediately removed, Fresbo Bee reports.

The infotainment-style museum, which has waxworks of about 80 famous people, initially defended the exhibit as “fun” and said it was one of the most popular waxworks with visitors.

This is 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 had sparked outrage in the past. In 2014, a music video made by Indonesian pop stars as a tribute to presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto also drew contempt with its Nazi overtones.


See: 48 Hours in Yogyakarta



Ardi Wirdana is a Jakarta-based journalist covering a variety of topics including business, policy, and news in Indonesia.