An ugly encounter in Leipzig in which a luxury hotel manager reportedly told an Israeli-German singer to cover up his Star of David necklace first if he wanted a room has prompted a nationwide debate about a disturbing rise in antisemitism in the country that has long struggled to atone for the Holocaust.
Gil Ofarim, a little-known 39-year-old singer, has become a lightning rod for the issue of latent antisemitism in Germany after he went public with a social media video earlier in the week in which he described how staff members at the hotel appeared to ignore him while he stood in the check-in line and then, when he asked why he was being overlooked, they told him to conceal his Star of David if he wanted to get a key to his room. The employees denied the incident. The hotel suspended the employees pending the results of a police investigation.
“He told me to put my star away to be allowed to check in,” Ofarim said in a short video that went viral after he filmed himself in the Leipzig hotel lobby right after the incident took place. Close to tears, the singer added: “Is this for real? Is this Germany in 2021?”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies