European Jewish Congress
Berlin Anne Frank Centre guide compares Palestinians to Jews under Nazis
Germany
Berlin Anne Frank Centre guide compares Palestinians to Jews under Nazis

The Anne Frank Centre in Berlin has distanced itself from the statement of a freelance guide who compared the suffering of Jews under the Nazis to that of Palestinians under Israeli occupation today.

At issue was a profile of Nesreen Hajjaj, a 24-year-old Berliner of Palestinian background, in the July 19 online English version of Al Arabiya. Hajjaj is one of 25 freelance guides who introduces visitors to the exhibition at the Anne Frank Zentrum Berlin.

Hajjaj told the interviewer that “many things that happened to the Jews during the Nazi rule are happening to the Palestinians now. Jewish people were kicked out of their homes and denied an education. Today Palestinian lands and houses are being conquered,” she told the online publication.

She said she had been called an “infidel and a hypocrite” on social media for taking the job with the centre.

Her answer to critics: “We must be open-minded toward different people, especially if you live within their societies.”

Patrick Siegele, director of the Anne Frank Zentrum, told JTA that Hajjaj’s comparison as stated in the Al Arabiya article was “incorrect and painful … and does not reflect the official position of the Anne Frank Zentrum. Furthermore, the Anne Frank Zentrum distances itself from this position.”

He said his staff would discuss the issue with Hajjaj and others who bring guests through the exhibit in central Berlin, which deals with the history of Anne Frank and the Holocaust, as well as current antisemitism and other forms of discrimination.

 Click here to read the full article in The Forward

Monday, July 24, 2017
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