“To our Jewish guests, women, men, and children. Please take a shower before you go swimming…If you break the rules, I am forced to [close] the swimming pool for you.” This is the sign that hung in Paradies Arosa, a small Swiss hotel in the Alpine village of Arosa.
A second note, which was posted in the property’s kitchen, instructed Jewish guests to only use the facility’s freezer during two, one-hour time frames. “I hope you understand that our team does not like being disturbed all the time,” it read.
The controversial signs quickly made their way to social media, facing backlash from various sides.
Tzipi Livni, a former Israeli foreign minister, took to Facebook, posting a message that read “there can be no tolerance and no indifference,” to anti-Semitism and racism, reports the Associated Press. “We must not let there be a place in the free world for Nazi flags or Ku Klux Klan masks or ugly signs in hotels directed at Jews only. We cannot allow acts of hate against Jews around the world to become normal.”
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely also condemned the hotel, calling the signs an “ugly display of anti-Semitism.” “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,” she said in a statement.
The hotel has reportedly apologized and taken the sign down, and Switzerland’s foreign ministry issued a statement claiming that the nation “condemns racisim, anti-Semitism and discrimination in any form.” But some are not satisfied with the apology. Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based Jewish human rights organization, voiced their outrage by calling upon the closure of the hotel.
Ruth Thomann, the hotel manager responsible for putting up the signs, said she received guest complaints about Jewish patrons not showering before using the pool. Swiss Tourism spokesperson Markus Berger called the signs “unacceptable,” also noting that it was an isolated incident, reports the Associated Press.
“It’s just this one lady at this one hotel who was not on top of the situation,” Berger said.