Swiss Hotel Sign That Asks Jews to Shower Sparks Controversy

August 16, 2017 Updated: August 16, 2017

A Swiss hotel is being accused of anti-Semitism for signs that single out Jewish guests, prompting Israel to lodge a complaint against the government.

The signs told the guests that they need to shower before using the pool and restricted their access to the kitchen.

“To our Jewish guests, women, men and children, please take a shower before you go swimming and although [sic] after swimming. If you break the rules, I’m forced to cloes [sic] the pool for you,” the sign read, according to Swissinfo.

The notice was removed by the Aparthaus Paradies hotel manager, who claimed there’s a misunderstanding.

Another sign on the hotel’s refrigerator said, “For our Jewish guests: You may access the refrigerator only in the following hours: 10:00-11:00 and 16:30-17:30. I hope you understand that our team does not like being disturbed all the time.”

This hotel in Arosa attracts many Jewish guests at this time of year, according to local reports. (www.paradiesarosa.ch)
This hotel in Arosa attracts many Jewish guests at this time of year, according to local reports.
(www.paradiesarosa.ch)

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely denounced the sign as “an anti-Semitic act of the worst and ugliest kind.”

According to the owner, Ruth Thomann, who spoke to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “I have nothing against Jews, whom we regularly receive warmly here.”

“I may have selected the wrong words; the signs should have been addressed to all the guests instead of Jewish ones,” she said.

(Google Maps)
(Google Maps)

Thomann said that the fridge was reserved for staff and that, as a courtesy, they allowed only Jewish guests to use it for their Kosher food.

“The sign was addressed to Jewish guests simply because the other guests are not allowed to put food in the fridge, and we wanted our Jewish guests to access the food only at set times because otherwise it was an impossible situation,” she said.

She also said that it was only the Jewish guests at the hotel who went into the pool while wearing T-shirts and without showering first.

The father of the family who first complained about the signs after visiting the hotel said, “We told her we are Jews, and she said that many Jews arrive during this period and gave us everything we need for the baby,” according to the Jerusalem Post. “No one addressed her because we didn’t want to start a confrontation,” the father added.

As the Guardian reported, the hotel is quite popular with ultra-orthodox Jewish guests because it has been accommodating to their needs—which includes providing a freezer to store kosher food.

The Wiesenthal Center did not accept the owner’s statement, saying that the Swiss government “close hotel of hate and penalize its management,” as AFP reported.