An online Holocaust Memorial Day event organized by the Israeli Embassy in Germany was disrupted on Monday evening, the eve of the memorial day, by a display of images of the 20th century Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and the shouting of anti-Semitic slogans.
Anonymous uninvited attendees interrupted a Zoom video session, in a case of what is now referred to as 'Zoom bombing', during the testimony of Zvi Herschel, a Holocaust survivor, according to a tweet from the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff.
The diplomat said that the commemoration event was quickly suspended following the incident and was later reconvened after a short break in “an appropriate and respectful way” without what he identified as “anti-Israel activists”.
“After a short break the event was reconvened without the activists and conducted in an appropriate and respectful way. To dishonour the memory of the #Holocaust and the dignity of the survivor is beyond shame and disgrace and shows the blatant antisemitic nature of the activists,” stated Issacharoff
After a short break the event was reconvened without the activists and conducted in an appropriate and respectful way. To dishonour the memory of the #Holocaust and the dignity of the survivor is beyond shame and disgrace and shows the blatant antisemitic nature of the activists. pic.twitter.com/t79gXPYkIO— Jeremy Issacharoff (@JIssacharoff) April 21, 2020
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, information needed to enter the online event was widely publicized in order to reach as many as possible within Germany’s Jewish and Israeli communities.
“As I listened to the siren in Israel on the radio this morning, I felt profoundly saddened that after so many years – 75 years after the Holocaust – someone here could desecrate the memory of the Shoah and disrupt a survivor’s testimony,” the ambassador tweeted, cited by the newspaper.
Zoom bombing has become more frequent, targeting online events amid coronavirus lockdowns.
A spokesperson for Zoom said in a statement that the company is “deeply upset to hear about these types of incidents”, noting that the tech company has taken steps to improve security for meeting IDs, according to The Hill.
“Zoom strongly condemns such behavior and recently updated several features to help our users more easily protect their meetings," the spokesperson said. “We encourage users to report any incidents of this kind either to Zoom so we can take appropriate action or directly to law enforcement authorities”.