A Swiss hotel has sparked international controversy over a sign instructing Jewish guests to use the shower before and after they use the pool, the presence of which has droves of social media users accusing the hotel owners of anti-Semitism.
The Aparthus Paradies hotel, which is situated in the picturesque Alps resort town of Arosa, became the subject of a Change.org petition a week ago, when an Israeli family who was staying at the hotel came across the hostile sign.
“To our Jewish guests: Please take a shower before you go swimming and although after swimming,” the grammatically-challenged sign read. “If you break the rules, I’m forced to cloes [sic] the swimming pool for you.”
The Jewish patrons came across another sign in the kitchen informing them that they could only access a certain freezer for two hours per day because “our team does not like being disturbed all the time.”
Once the discriminatory fliers surfaced online, they quickly went viral, drawing censure from social media users who blasted the hotel owners as anti-Semitic. The kerfuffle even prompted a response from the Israeli government, who called on their Swiss counterparts to respond.
“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism in Europe is still a reality, and we must make sure that the punishment for incidents such as these will serve as deterrents for those who still harbor the germ of anti-Semitism,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said in a statement, noting that the signs have since been removed.
Ruth Thomann, an employee at the hotel, confessed to putting up the sign. She claimed that she meant to address all guests but merely singled out Jewish people because of a recent influx in Jewish visitors that caught the hotel off-guard. Thomann also said that Jewish guests are allowed to use the freezer to store kosher food, but the rule had resulted in too much traffic for the kitchen staff to handle.
Still, Jewish advocacy groups have called for the hotel to be punished, with the Simon Wiesenthal Center even going so far as to demand it be blacklisted.