Protestors Gather Outside Of Westin Leipzig After Hotel Refused To Check In Jewish Singer

Gil Ofarim, a German singer with top 40 hits, went on social media to share his experience trying to check in at the Westin Leipzig. The man shares that the hotel wouldn’t check him in unless he hid his Star of David.

He explains that the hotel’s computers weren’t working, and the line to check in was long. He says other guests were being helped ahead of him, even though he’d been there longer, and when he asked why he says he was told to “pack your star” which identified him as Jewish. He says the manager then reinforced this was required before they would check him into a room. Not surprisingly he chose to stay elsewhere.

Marriott responded on twitter with dismay and promising to investigate.

There’s obviously a unique local history of antisemitism in the region. I don’t discount the possibility that there was a misunderstanding, though the singer seems genuine and isn’t new to German either.

I’m fortunate I suppose never to have felt uncomfortable because of my Jewishness while checking into a hotel, even in the Mideast. Although as a teenager I wore a Chai which would have identified me more publicly, and I wonder if that would make my experience different today.

I am heartened, though, that this isn’t something the Leipzig community is taking lightly. Hundreds of protestors gathered outside of the hotel to be heard.

(HT: YHBU via One Mile at a Time)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Are these comments for real? Please tell me some are trying to be funny or satirical. Please….

  2. “There’s obviously a unique local history of antisemitism in the region”-there OBVIOUSLY weren’t any history majors involved in the crafting of THAT statement….

  3. Why should some of us react in so much shock, when we know from experience or from history how the extreme left and extreme right have melded together?

    Add to this cancer how such extremist groups on both sides of the spectrum are tolerated for their ignorant viciousness. It’s like the 1930s all over again.

  4. Well…not surprising. @MES said it correctly – the extreme right and radical left have always been hostile towards to jews, and they are both getting more radicalized and rearing their ugly heads these days.
    P.S – there are antisemitic attacks happening in Germany (and Europe) on a weekly basis, most just aren’t travel related so you wouldn’t learn of them unless following closely

  5. Racist attacks and other racist aggressions happen daily in Germany, elsewhere in Europe, in the US, in Israel, India, Saudi Arabia, China and so on,
    Such hostilities happening to identified/identifiable ethnic/religious minorities is unfortunately still widely prevalent; and in some ways it is even more alive than ever with online racism spewing and spawning even more racism. It’s just now with so many more cameras around, some incidents are more likely to be caught on camera and then see the videos go viral to the benefit of the internet companies that see increased engagement and the money that follows the heightened engagement levels.

  6. Disgusting. History has taught us to judge people by their character, not race or religion yet here we are. This property should be boycotted at all costs.

  7. It was said on FT that the GM of the property may also have been suspended. I asked if that guy had indeed been the hotel’s GM since 2005. Clearly there is a lot more learning to be done. And a bunch of the hotel staff hanging out in front with a bunch of Israeli flags just seems out of place as the person told by someone to put away his Star of David pendant is European whether or not he took up his right to claim Israeli citizenship based on parentage or otherwise.

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