German firm to Israeli client: Jews are a disease

Manufacturer in Nuremberg sends anti-Semitic mail to owner of Tel Aviv toy store after business deal turns sour.

May 3, 2012 03:23
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv toy store owner Eti Doron

Store owner Eti Doron 370. (photo credit: Gil Shefler)


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Eti Doron wanted to buy toys from a company in Germany for her store in Tel Aviv, but when the deal fell through she started receiving anti-Semitic letters.

Doron provided The Jerusalem Post with emails in which Walter Adler, who identifies as the founder of Hoff-Interieur, a manufacturer based in Nuremberg, calls Jews a disease and praises German poet Günther Grass for saying Israel is a danger to world peace.

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“We see that you have decided to be a real Jew, not only a liar but also a cheater,” he wrote in an email. “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 confirmed.”

The letter sent from a Hoff- Interieur email address goes on to laud “the great” Grass for saying Israel imperils “world piece” [sic] and lament the “tortures and murders” carried out by Israel against the Palestinians. It ends with the author threatening to arrest Doron if she comes near the company’s stalls.

Doron said she was deeply shocked by the letter, especially because she said no goods ever exchanged hands and the proposed business transaction was small.

“First, I don’t owe them anything,” she said. “I saw their products at a toy fair and tried to place an order for 600 euros but they could not receive a credit card payment and I backed out. I never received anything from them. In any case, nothing warrants this kind of reply.”

Numerous emails sent to Hoff-Interieur went unanswered.

An answering machine at the company said it was closed for vacation until May 7.

The German-Israeli Chamber of Industry and Commerce on Wednesday recommended Doron sue Hoff- Interieur.

“We’re not even interested in the business aspect of the deal, this is the most anti- Semitic and vile response one can imagine with all the stereotypes of Jews,” said CEO Grisha Alroi-Arloser. “If you look at blogs today in Germany after what Günther Grass said then there is a real problem, a deep-rooted issue that needs to be addressed.”

The office of Arno Hamburger, the head of the Jewish community in Nuremberg, said on Wednesday he would investigate the allegations of anti-Semitism.

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