Saturday 10/16/21
GERMANY

Hotel employee accused of anti-Semitism files charges of defamation

An incident such as this in Germany is particularly shocking given the country's 20th century history and the Holocaust
People gather in front of the "Westin Hotel" to show solidarity with the musician Gil Ofarim and Jews in Germany. Ofarim had been the victim of an anti-Semitic incident at the Leipzig hotel on Monday, according to his own account. Photo: Dirk Knofe/dpa
People gather in front of the Westin Hotel to show solidarity with the musician Gil Ofarim and Jews in Germany. Photo: Dirk Knofe/dpa.

One of the employees at the Westin Hotel in Leipzig accused of anti-Semitism following an incident on Tuesday with German musician Gil Ofarim has filed charges of defamation after he was placed on leave while the claims were investigated.

The employee described the incident in a manner "clearly deviating from the musician's statements," police spokesman Olaf Hoppe said on Wednesday.

The hotel employee has also reportedly filed a second complaint for harassment due to the angry comments directed towards the hotel staff on social media.

The incident allegedly began as guests, including Ofarim, were waiting at the hotel reception following its computer system going down.

Ofarim says that despite being in line he was repeatedly ignored by staff as other guests were called forward.

After waiting for 15 minutes Ofarim says he asked what was going on, only to hear someone in the background call out that he should take off his Star of David, something that one of the front desk staff then repeated.

Police investigation

The police immediately began an investigation and said they would be submitting their findings to the public prosecutor's office later on Wednesday for legal assessment.

It is not yet known whether Ofarim is planning to press charges himself.

The Star of David is one of the best-known symbols of Judaism and has been on the flag of Israel since its founding in 1948.

An incident such as this in Germany is particularly shocking given the country's 20th century history and the Holocaust. During the Nazi era Jews were forced to wear yellow Stars of David in public.

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