Austria pastry maker faces complaint over Nazi cakes
Vienna: A Holocaust survivors` group has filed a criminal complaint against a pastry maker in Lower Austria for baking cakes decorated with Nazi designs, prosecutors said.
The public prosecutors` office in Wiener Neustadt said late Tuesday it had received a complaint by the MKOe Mauthausen Committee against the bakery, Tortendesign, in the village of Maria Enzersdorf near Vienna, for offering customers cakes decorated with swastikas or a baby raising its right hand in a Nazi salute.
While the cakes are not actually put on display in the shop window, a catalogue containing photographs of the designs is made freely available to customers, MKOe said in a statement.
MKOe had been alerted to the matter by a tip-off from a customer who had visited the bakery and leafed through the catalogue.
The Nazi cakes, priced at around EUR 90 (USD 128) apiece, were contained in a separate "adult section" of the catalogue containing pictures of other cake designs, such as penis-shaped marzipan sweets, according to the daily Oesterreich.
The group`s chairman Willi Mernyi said: "This is a particularly abhorrent example of how money is made from Nazi filth. We`re going to file a criminal complaint."
Pastry chef Manfred Klaschka told ORF public television: "If someone orders it, I make it. I don`t really think about it. Basically, it doesn`t interest me what the customers do with the cakes. I have to make a living."
In a separate interview with the daily Oesterreich, Klaschka insisted he was no Nazi.
"If someone wanted a Gaddafi cake, I`d bake it for them," he told the newspaper.
"This is exactly the sort of justification we heard all those decades ago. `I didn`t know anything, I didn`t see anything. That doesn`t concern me`," said MKOe chairman Mernyi.
Austria bans neo-Nazi activities and the public display of Nazi symbols, as well as attempts to glorify the Nazi era and deny the Holocaust.
According to a spokesman for the public prosecutor in Vienna, the fact that pictures of the cakes were not openly displayed in the shop could make it difficult to convict the pastry maker.
"The question is whether a picture in a catalogue is `public display`. If it had been placed in the shop window, the matter would be much clearer," spokesman Thoma Vecsey was quoted by the daily Der Standard as saying.
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