August 9, 2004

French Anti-Semitism At Auschwitz

Jewish students attacked at Auschwitz

While on a tour of the museum at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland on Sunday, a group of around 50 Jewish university students from Israel, the U.S. and Poland were verbally attacked by a three-member gang of French male tourists.

Evidently incited by the presence of an Israeli flag wrapped around the shoulders of Tamar Schuri, an Israeli student from Ben Gurion University, the first assailant ran at the group while its members were being guided through a model gas chamber and crematoria and began swearing and hurling anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli insults.

"He told us to go back to Israel and said that we were stupid and should be ashamed to walk around with an Israeli flag," testifies Maya Ober, a 21-year-old Polish student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and member of the Polish Union of Jewish Students (PUSZ), which organized the 16-day summer learning program along with the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS).

After the initial altercation, a second assailant grabbed Ober by the arm. "One of the guys held me by the arm and wouldn't let go," says Ober, who lost several members of her family at Auschwitz. "I was afraid. I couldn't move and I didn't know what he was going to do.

"I was shocked. Although I have met anti-Semitism many times, I never expected to meet it at Auschwitz, where so many of my relatives were killed," she says she spoke to the assailants in French and that in addition to being "brutish and vulgar," their sentiments "made absolutely no sense."

Posted by Ithildin at August 9, 2004 9:33 AM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

I have heard that there are big problems with anti-semitism over in France and I foresee it getting worse. They have a high number of Muslim immigrants and it will continue to fan that flicker of a flame that was never truly extinguished. How horrible.

Posted by: Boudicca at August 9, 2004 2:48 PM

There are three people who should have had their asses kicked. Damn.

Yarbz

Posted by: Yarbz at August 9, 2004 5:14 PM

"in addition to being 'brutish and vulgar,' their sentiments 'made absolutely no sense.'"

Heh. That should hit some Frenchmen where it hurts. The French still pride themselves on being the nation that spawned Pascal and Descartes and all the other Age of Reason honchos.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 9, 2004 6:05 PM