Davos, Switzerland, is perhaps best known for the World Economic Forum: a multi-day symposium where financial and political elites come together to talk about the world and its future.
But the city is now attracting attention for a completely different reason. Jews traveling to the Swiss Alpine town are discriminated against by renting ski and snowboard equipment at a restaurant that also deals in rentals.
A message appears on the door at Mount Bisha station. The note is written in Hebrew – and reads:
– Due to various very disturbing incidents, including the theft of a sled, we do not rent sports equipment to our Jewish brothers. This applies to all equipment such as: skis, windboards, skis and snowshoes. thanks for understanding.
It was Swiss politician Yehuda Spielmann, who is Jewish, who posted a photo of the note on Sunday the 10th.
On Monday, the message spread in German-language media. Swiss police are now writing that they are investigating the rental refusal as anti-Semitic 20 minute location.
According to 20 Minuten, a 21-year-old man from an Orthodox Jewish family was said to have been refused a rental for an airboard (an airbag like a skateboard, journ.anm.).
Swiss Jews strongly criticize the rent refusal.
The fact that such a note could be publicly hung on a mountain in Switzerland is shocking. Jonathan Kreutner, of the Association of Israeli Communities in Switzerland, says the content is discriminatory and anti-Semitic.
On social media, there are many people reminding us that Jews were a discriminated minority throughout European history.
Germany's Nuremberg Laws of 1935 – in which Nazi Germany deprived Jews of a number of basic civil rights – such as free marriage – are perhaps particularly well known.
Throughout the 1930s and World War II, Jews were systematically harassed, imprisoned, and, among other things, refused to shop in stores – also in Norway.
Hatred of Jews reached its peak in the Holocaust. The systematic extermination of more than six million Jews in Europe.
During the Holocaust, thousands of Jews fled Germany and German-controlled areas to Switzerland. The state – which considered itself neutral during the war – also refused entry to thousands of Jews.
According to the location and think tank Jewish Virtual Library Swiss authorities convinced Nazi Germany to stamp a “J” for Jews in Jewish passports – so that Swiss authorities could bar entry into the country.
– He can't stand this noise
The rental venue – which 20 Minutes refers to as a restaurant – responds as follows to claims that refusing to rent to Jews is anti-Semitic:
– We can no longer tolerate the daily hustle and bustle, and therefore we exercise our right to decide who can rent our property or not, says the restaurant for 20 minutes.
In addition, they claim that Jewish guests often leave the skis they rent on the slopes.
– Then we have to collect them, if they can be found, says the restaurant.
– The fact that we do not want to rent to them (Jews, Jorn Am.) has nothing to do with faith, skin color or personal inclinations, but only that we no longer want these daily discussions, says the rental agency.
However, Davos Klosters' tourism director, Rio Branchi, described the memo as “unfortunately worded” and admitted that the message may have been hurtful to Jewish guests.
– This does not represent attitudes towards the destination and our service providers. Davos Klosters is open to all guests, Branchi says, according to 20 Minutes.
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