Switzerland Hotel in the Doghouse After Posting Anti-Semitic Notice

A hotel in Switzerland is in the news, but not for a good reason. The Paradies Arosa, an Alpine establishment in Arosa, a city outside Davos, posted this notice a few days ago:

The text of the sign shown in the photo was written in broken English and read: “To our Jewish guests, women, men and children, Please take a shower before you go swimming and although after swimming. If you break the rules, I’m forced to cloes the swimming pool for you.”

The hotel removed the sign but defended it and said it was not anti-semitic.

Ruth Thomann, the manager of the hotel, confirmed the signs had now been removed. She insisted that many Jews visit the hotel, particularly at this time of year, and they are very welcome.

How could this be anything other than anti-Semitic?

“The sign regarding the showers was hung after two Jewish girls entered without taking a shower, ignoring a sign addressed to all guests. Therefore, a specific sign was hung to focus their attention on this.”

Then why not create a sign that says all children and teens, as well as adults, must take a shower before entering the pool.

This hotel's explanation fails. I hope it goes out of business. Their sign was inapproproiate and anti-semitic.

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    Shower before the pool? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 03:07:27 PM EST
    People actually do that?

    At the McArab Family Reunion, the pool is the shower...and the best you can hope for is nobody pees in it.

    Showering before swimming is SOP (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by scribe on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 05:12:37 AM EST
    in Europe, particularly the German-speaking parts of the continent.  You put on your suit, step into  the shower - which is often right next to the pool and not enclosed - then go into the pool.  Don't forget your bathing cap, either.  And that goes for guys, too.  You can get tossed out of the Schwimmbad if you don't shower first and use the bathing cap.  Seriously.  

    Showering off after you finish swimming is also smiled upon favorably.  The average German Schwimmbad does not scrimp on chlorine.

    Don't ask me why this is.  it just is.  Right there with mayonnaise on pommes frites.  Local Culture.

    Was the sign anti-Semitic, a reaction to a particular group of guests (who, for all we know, may have wanted to go swimming clothed and didn't care about local cultural norms), or just bad translation?  I dunno.  But a little less shrieking - the response to just about anything this month - and a little more understanding of local cultural differences would be a useful step.


    Hear, hear. (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 11:00:20 AM EST
    Showering before entering (none / 0) (#12)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 11:10:17 AM EST
    the pool is SOP at the YMCA I go to.  There are several signs up directing people to do so.
    Bathing caps are not standard for the men.  Some do wear them.  Most women wear them.
    And at least among the women, everyone I know also showers after swimming.  Who wants to go around for hours with pool chemicals  all over your body?

    I thought... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 11:39:32 AM EST
    maybe bad translation too...some other words were off. But then I thought who in Europe doesn't know what jewish means in any language, especially in light of not so distant history?

    I'm with you on the too much shrieking, too little attempts at understanding...on all sides, all sides;)  


    Of course, (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by NYShooter on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 12:55:52 PM EST
    "To our Jewish guests, women, men and children,....."

    She couldn't have written, "To all our guests....?"


    I don't get why they didn't write that. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 01:13:03 PM EST
    "All guests are expected to shower before entering the pool.  Whoever does not will be asked to leave."
    That's all the sign needed to say.
    And a lifeguard couldn't have quietly taken the two girls aside and said "I'm sorry, but you cannot go swimming unless you take a shower, it's right over there"?
    Yeh, it sure looks anti-semitic, all right.

    Naturally, Zorba (none / 0) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 02:08:44 PM EST
    Anti-Semitism, like racism, like all forms of bigotry, is best explained by that immortal phrase, "I know it when I see it"

    United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart describing his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964)


    Arosa, Switzerland (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by fishcamp on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 10:39:57 PM EST
    I know it well.  When on the ski team, back in the 60's, we ski raced there every year.  It's a lovely Swiss ski resort.  Sorry to hear they have singled out Jews.  It definitely sounds like a mistake to me.  many hotels in the Alps had strange indoor pools, but they had too much chlorine in them.  We were usually so banged up from practice runs and the race itself that we always tried to find hotels that had hot tubs and jacuzzis.  Those old ski injuries are haunting me now.  

    She also said (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 02:58:06 PM EST
    She also said that only the hotel's Jewish guests went into the pool while wearing T-shirts and without showering first.

    In an interview with the Blick daily newspaper, she said the hotel had many Jewish clients and that other guests had complained that some of them had not showered before using the pool.

    "I wrote something naive on that poster," she was quoted as saying, admitting that it would have been preferable to address all guests instead of singling out one group.

    Thomann told The Algemeiner that she had placed the note because "some of these guests went swimming with clothes on, with T-shirts, and didn't take a shower."

    i thought (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 03:05:05 PM EST
    maybe it was just a mistake and she meant to say "our French guests"

    pepe le pew (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 03:33:16 PM EST
    i understand (none / 0) (#7)
    by linea on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 10:18:58 PM EST
    "some of these guests went swimming with clothes on, with T-shirts, and didn't take a shower."

    what she was trying to say.

    the hotel has haredi ultra-orthodox guests and the other hotel guests complained because they are not accustomed to seeing women and young girls fully clothed in the pool. i expect there was a 'modesty' issue with the showers too. it's apparent the hotel manager isn't aware of the issue. i'm not sure, "To our Haredi guests" would have been much better but i think that's what she meant.


    I would think that in (none / 0) (#13)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 16, 2017 at 11:18:51 AM EST
    Europe, at least some of the other guests might have seen Muslim women swimming in what they call burkinis, very modest swimwear.  If not at that hotel, then in other pools, so that modest swimwear might not be all that much of a shock to them.

    With a statement like that (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 03:45:03 PM EST
    Ruth Thomann is probably next in line to be Trump's US Ambassador to Switzerland.

    Or a sweet sweet deal (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 06:00:03 PM EST
    on a branding agreement for the new Trump Aparthaus Paradies Resort and Spa.

    What did Groucho Marx say? (none / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Tue Aug 15, 2017 at 11:30:26 PM EST
    since my daughter's only half Jewish, can she go in up to her knees?