Tuesday 20th February, 2018
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Hitler waxwork in Indonesia removed after criticism

Sheetal Sukhija - Sunday 12th November, 2017

JAVA, Indonesia - The international community reacted with outrage after a life-size model of Adolf Hitler went up at the De ARCA Statue Art Museum in Jogjakarta, Java.

The waxwork, to be used for ‘selfies’ for visitors at the Indonesian museum was subsequently removed.

Soon after the installation was showcased, pictures were shared on social media showing people grinning as they pose with the Nazi leader in front of an image of the gates of Auschwitz concentration camp.

Photos of the display, which is one of about 80 in the museum, showed several people posing with the fibreglass statue, including a group of young boys dressed in orange uniforms performing a Nazi salute.

The exhibit had been positioned next to a figure of Darth Vader and opposite a waxwork of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Reacting to the outburst, the museum argued that it had only wanted to educate.

The museum's operations manager, Jamie Misbah said, “Most of our visitors are having fun because they know this is just an entertainment museum... Let people judge whether the character is good or bad. We don't want to attract outrage.”

The museum said that no visitor had complained so far.

On Saturday, the De Mata Trick Eye Museum confirmed that the display had been removed.

Misbah said, "Our purpose to display the Hitler figure in the museum is to educate."

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of Jewish human rights organisation The Simon Wiesenthal Center, said in a statement, “Everything about it is wrong. It's hard to find words for how contemptible it is. The background is disgusting. It mocks the victims who went in and never came out."

During the Holocaust, an estimated 1.1 million people, mainly European Jews, and also groups including Roma gypsies and Soviet prisoners-of-war, died at Auschwitz.

Those that criticized the installation blamed a lack of education about the Holocaust on the lack of sensitivity.

According to Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono, it revealed anti-Jewish feeling in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

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