German Embassy Asks Koreans to Rename “Hitler” Beer Hall
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ The Korean who opened the Hitler beer hall two months ago in an industrial area outside Seoul says he chose the name because it’s easy to remember and Koreans know Germans like beer.
He seemed surprised at the German Embassy’s objections.
It has asked the Korean government to force the popular 100-seat beer hall to change its name and get rid of its neon signs bearing the Nazi dictator’s name, its Hitler matchbooks and pictures.
The embassy also wants the beer hall, which features a special Hitler hamburger lunch, to do away with the German flag with the stiched-on Nazi swastika, calling it defamation of a national emblem.
″We consider the use of Nazi pictures and symbols as hurting ... German feelings and detrimental to our reputation,″ embassy spokeswoman Martina Nibbeling-Wriessnig said Tuesday.
The use of Nazi symbols is illegal in Germany.
In 1987, a bar called ″Gestapo″ in Itaewon near a U.S. Army base changed its name after complaints by the German Embassy.
The embassy says it only recently discovered the Hitler beer hall in Kwangmyong City, some 12 miles southwest of the capital, and formally complained to the Foreign Ministry on Friday.
″It gives Koreans the wrong ideas about Germany,″ said Nibbeling- Wriessnig. ″In a friendly nation, we don’t consider it very friendly or nice.″
The hall’s owner, Na Dae-pal, said he had not heard from the Foreign Ministry or the German Embassy and seemed surprised at the fuss.
The hall serves only Korean beer. German beer is not available in Korea.
About 1,000 Germans live in South Korea, the third largest expatriate community after Americans and Japanese.