A German company apologized on Sunday to a client in Israel for sending her
anti-Semitic letters after a business deal turned sour.
Lars Adler, the
co-owner of Hoff-Interieur, a manufacturer based in Nuremberg, apologized for
emails sent from his company’s account to Eti Doron, a toy store owner in Tel
Aviv, which said Jews were a disease and praised German writer Günter Grass for
calling Israel a danger to world peace.
Adler said the offensive messages
were sent by his father, Walter Adler, the retired founder of the firm, without
his knowledge while he was out of the country.
“Please be informed, that
we deeply regret the affront against Mrs. Doron, her religion and your people
since we are really liberal, cosmopolitan open-minded people doing trade all over
the world since many years,” he wrote in an email to The Jerusalem
Adler said his 75-year-old father no longer had access to the
company’s business dealings and that he was diagnosed by physicians as suffering
from a mental illness five years ago.
Last week Doron showed thePost hate
mail she received from Hoff-Interieur after a proposed deal worth 600 euros fell
“We see that you have decided to be a real Jew, not only a liar
but also a cheater,” the email signed by Walter Adler read. “Your abominable
behavior has brought us a big loss. We must remember what was an aphorism over
many hundred years in Europe, that some people with your origin are the
pestilence-plague for human being. We never thought that this is true, but you
Doron said she was deeply shocked by the letter because she
never received any goods from the company and because the proposed deal was
The story was picked up by numerous media outlets in Germany and
But Michael Doron, Eti Doron's brother, called Hoff-Interieur’s
version of events into question on Sunday. He said his sister recently received
a separate letter of apology signed by Walter Adler himself that seemed to prove
that he was in full control of his faculties.
“How is it possible that a
man said to suffer from dementia can write such an articulate and introspective
letter?” he asked.
“Eti has no doubt that the letter signed by Walter
Adler was written by Hoff-Interieur, in an attempt to avoid a lawsuit and lay
the foundation for the company’s legal defense in court.”
Anti-Defamation League said last Thursday – before the German company issued an
explanation and an apology – that the correspondence was indicative of a strain
of anti-Semitism in German society that needs to be addressed.
this individual is an anti- Semite, and it took a business dispute to bring his
bigotry to the surface,” said ADL head Abraham Foxman.
“It is as a
reminder of how anti-Semitism continues to endure. Just because Germany has made
efforts to confront it and eliminate it, anti-Semitism is much harder to expunge
from individual hearts and minds. The important measure will be in how German
society reacts and responds to it.”