by WorldTribune Staff, August 16, 2017
Jewish officials expressed outrage after a hotel in eastern Switzerland posted a notice instructing “Jewish guests” to take a shower before using the facility’s swimming pool.
According to an Aug. 14 report by AFP, the notice from the Paradies apartment hotel in the Alpine village of Arosa read:
“To our Jewish Guests, women, men and children, please take a shower before you go swimming. If you break the rules I’m forced to (close) the swimming pool for you.”
A second notice, in the kitchen, meanwhile, instructed “Our Jewish guests” that they could only access the facility’s freezer between 10 and 11 a.m. and between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
“I hope you understand that our team does not like being disturbed all the time,” the second notice said.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely described the hotel’s actions as “an anti-Semitic act of the worst and ugliest kind.”
Israel’s ambassador to Switzerland, Jacob Keidar, reportedly contacted the hotel and informed Hotovely the signs had been removed.
Hotovely has reportedly demanded “a formal condemnation” from Bern.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center also voiced outrage at the incident, publishing a letter on Aug. 15 demanding that Switzerland “close hotel of hate and penalize its management.”
The center also called on Booking.com to remove the hotel from its directory “and explain the anti-Semitic cause of the removal on your website.”
Algemeiner.com reported that the Paradies had been removed from Priceline.com and Bookings.com.
Shimon Samuels, the center’s head of international relations, pointed out that “the reference to ‘showers’ can be construed as a patently vicious reference to the fake shower (heads) in the gas chambers.”
The hotel’s manager Ruth Thomann, who signed the notices, told the Swiss daily 20Minutes that she was not an anti-Semite, and acknowledged that her “choice of words was a mistake.”
She said the hotel currently had a lot of Jewish guests, and that other guests had complained that some of them did not shower before using the pool and had asked her to do something.
“I wrote something naive on that poster,” she was quoted as saying, admitting that it would have been better to simply address all guests with the same message.
Thomann also said that since the hotel’s freezer was in the staff room, she had felt compelled to set times when the Jewish guests could access it to ensure staff could enjoy their “lunch and dinner in peace.”