Swiss hotel's signs for Jews spark row

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 17, 2017

The signs have since been removed, a representative with the Israeli Embassy in Switzerland said in a statement. "I may have selected the wrong words; the signs should have been addressed to all the guests instead of Jewish ones".

The Swiss statement came after the Jewish state lodged official complaints about Aparthaus Paradies in the Alpine resort village of Arosa and signs it posted telling Jewish guests to shower before using the swimming pool and restricted their access to a kitchen freezer.

Ruth Thomann, manager of the hotel, which is located 80 miles southeast of Zurich in the Swiss ALps town of Arosa, and she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the signs were a misunderstanding.

This prompted staff to put up a sign reading: "To our Jewish Guests: Please take a shower before you go swimming and although after swimming".

"The sign was addressed to Jewish guests simply because the other guests are not allowed to put food in the fridge, and we wanted our Jewish guests to access the food only at set times because otherwise it was an impossible situation", she said.

Signed by Thomann, the message continued, "If you break the rules, I'm forced to cloes (sic) the pool for you". "The refrigerators in the rooms are small, so I told them, 'You can store some small things with our stuff, but don't go in every time, '" she said. The reason for this policy was to ensure the hotel's staff could carry out their duties smoothly, she said.

She also said the sign limiting the use of the freezer was misunderstood, and that she was only trying to help hotel staff. The sense is that Jews, and especially not Jews of a religious appearance, have no reason to be in Europe.

The signs were denounced by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, as "an anti-Semitic act of the worst and ugliest kind".

Hotovely added that the hotel manager should face criminal charges as a outcome.

The centre's head of global relations Shimon Samuels, pointed out that "the reference to "showers" can be construed as a patently vicious reference to the fake shower hands in the gas chambers".

And it called on Booking.com to remove the hotel from its directory "and explain the anti-Semitic cause of the removal on your website".

Meanwhile, the prominent Jewish rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, published a letter Tuesday demanding that Switzerland "close the hotel of hate and penalise its management". "We are advising our global constituency, the broader Jewish community and their Gentile friends to blacklist this horrific hotel", added Samuels.

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