The Troll of the Month is an episode we choose every month to expose racist and anti-religious haters and to show the positive outcomes in the fight against intolerance in Europe.
An antisemitic article accusing a festival director to “benefit from the humanitarian debt from World War II” has been removed from the local newspaper Thüringer Allgemeine, after several complaints.
The now deleted article, published on 23 July 2018, was about the Yiddish Summer Weimar, a month-long festival for the study, creation and presentation of traditional and contemporary Yiddish culture. But within the piece, the journalist and critic Ursula Mielke, included antisemitic tropes of “guilt”, “Jewish money”.
She stated that this festival is happening in Germany, and not in the USA – where the director Alan Bern is from – as in Germany there’s money available because of “humanitarian debt from World War II”. The journalist also wrote “Artificially you have nothing, nothing to keep alive”, but it was not clear if she was referring to the festival or to the Yiddish culture.
The festival director said he was shocked when he first read Mielke’s piece: “the language she uses is the one by the extreme right in Germany,” he said. The editor of Juedische Allgemeine, Johannes Heil, wrote on his paper that the piece “presented, within a few lines, the entire repertoire of modern antisemitism.”
Two days after the publication of the article, the piece was removed and the paper issued a first apology with statements by the people who felt offended. This was then followed by another apology from the editor, Johannes M. Fischer, on both online and print versions. He expressed his regret for “an article that should have never been published”.