German Hotel Owner Blames ‘Mom’ for Anti-Semitic Booking Policy

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A group of Israeli tourists were left feeling hurt and upset when a German guesthouse apparently refused them a place to stay because of their background, Sputnik Deutschland reported.

Tourists walking in the streets of Mykonos town, Greece. - Sputnik International
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A group of Israeli tourists have complained that a guesthouse in the town of Zell am Harmersbach, in Germany's south-west region of Baden-Wuerttemberg, refused them accommodation because of their ethnicity.

On Saturday, Igor Tsehansky posted to Facebook a copy of the message he received from the proprietors of the Mattenhof guesthouse explaining that the Israeli guests can't stay there, which resulted in widespread outrage.

"We don't Want to have Guests from Israel, because our appartments are Not for them," it reads.

He told the Jerusalem Post that the group complained to online booking platform Booking.com, which has since closed the property on its site, saying that "we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind."

On Sunday the municipal government moved quickly to limit the damage to its reputation as a holiday resort, and issued a press release to declare that "holiday guests of all nationality are very welcome in Zell am Harmersbach!"

"There are 58 different nationalities currently living in Zell am Harmersbach. Communal life is characterized by mutual respect and regard for one another," the local authority said.

© Photo : facebook.comThe message Igor Tsehansky received from the Mattenhof guest house about his booking
The message Igor Tsehansky received from the Mattenhof guest house about his booking - Sputnik International
The message Igor Tsehansky received from the Mattenhof guest house about his booking

© Photo : Screenshotthe Mattenhof guesthouse which the Israeli party wanted to book for their holiday
the Mattenhof guesthouse which the Israeli party wanted to book for their holiday - Sputnik International
the Mattenhof guesthouse which the Israeli party wanted to book for their holiday
The Mattenhof guesthouse is owned by the Schmider family who say that in fact, the scandal is the result of a misunderstanding, caused by an error of translation.

"We are deeply upset at what has happened here," their lawyer Samy Hammad told German newspaper Die Welt.

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He added that the family's daughter usually communicates with international guests, but this time, the mother, who speaks little English, wrote the message.

"This is a linguistic misunderstanding," and the family are not anti-Semitic, Hammad said.

"In the last year alone 60 to 80 Israeli guests stayed here," the lawyer said.

The mother had apparently wanted to convey that the guesthouse accommodation for international tourists was already booked at the time the Israeli party wanted to come. 

The family explained that the hotel also has accommodation in the main building, but this is only reserved for German-speaking guests, because of the language barrier, Sputnik Deutschland reported.

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