Bruges: An antisemitic incident

Update

There are quite a few question marks about the veracity of this story. See my update here: The Marcel Kalmann story.

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The following story is not related to Islam. It was reported by Joods Actueel, a Belgian Jewish magazine.

Marcel Kalmann is 64 years old. Born January 1st, 1944 in Auschwitz-Birkenau, he is the youngest person to have survived Auschwitz. After the war he lived in shelters, where he was also abused. As a young man he emigrated to America and is now a professor.

About two weeks ago Kalmann visited the city of Bruges. On the last day of his stay he entered a famous restaurant: Le Panier d'Or and asked for a cup of coffee. He was the only client at the time, and besides him there were a barman and two waiters. When one of the waiters noticed his yarmulke he turned to him and barked out: "We don't serve Jews here, out!" The professor was completely confused and left the cafe as quickly as possible, the waiter yet screaming after him: 'out, OUT!'

Shocked by the attack, Kalmann walked into a nearby restaurant. "That man came in here with tears in his eyes." says waiter Dean Stalpaert to Joods Actueel. "We apologized to him for the attack, though we had nothing to do with the affair. We felt dreadfully bad that something like this could happen in our city. We immediately called the police."

They didn't want to come along and required the man himself to the come to the police office (3 km further). What happened then is too crazy for words. The young police officer made it clear that she didn't believe his story and she didn't let him give his statement in English although Kalmann explicitly and many times asked to report the facts in this language. Another policeman who was called in (probably a superior) got involved with the case and began to scream and rage against the man that he must give his statement in Dutch. The professor asked to lodge a complaint for antisemitism to which he was told that "this doesn't exist in Belgium".

The police questioned the man and ignored the explicit request of the man to lodge a complaint. Somewhat later Marcel Kalmann left the police office frustrated and angry, without having lodged a complaint and with an interrogation sheet that included things he had never said.

Several days later Kalmann contacted Joods Actueel to follow up on the case. He intends to lodge complaints against the police and the waiter involved.

According to Joods Actueel, the waiter was not interrogated by the police. Joods Actueel contacted him and he didn't deny that he kicked out the man, but said he did so because the man acted peculiarly. Realizing that there might be consequences the waiter said that he was willing to apologize to the professor if he would so wish.

The tourist department of Bruges will open up a complaint file on this issue. Restaurant owners in the area were shocked to hear that the professor was charged 6.5 euro (three times the going rate) for his coffee and concerned about how such treatment could reflect on their city, but according to Joods Actueel were less concerned about the fact that a man was kicked out due to his religion.

Source: Joods Actueel (Dutch)

See also: De Standaard (Dutch)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm going to write to this restaurant and tell them what I think and also inform them I will spread the word about their anti-semitism and damage their business. This kind of thing must be fought and I mean aggressively and disproportionely!

Anonymous said...

and here's the restaurant's contact address for anyone else who wants to complain to them about this.

lepanierdor@skynet.be

Noga said...

I've just read on Engage thatt his story is not true. Does anybody know anything about it?

Esther said...

Hi noga,

The police is currently investigating Prof. Kalmann's story. I understand there are some discrepancies in his story, but that the general facts are not being disputed.

Anonymous said...

I am following this story. It appears that the Professor was angry about the high prices and started arguing with the waiter about the money......and THIS is what led to his being kicked out, not his Jewish religion or his yarmulke......and being born in SS camp had nothing to do with this. He might be a liar. There are good Jews and there are bad Jews. Like all people. he might be a crazy kind of guy. check into this.

Anonymous said...

KEY HERE:

since they charged him 3 times the going rate for coffee, he probabluy became angry, as Americans do and started crying . he is an old man, after all, this had nothing to do with being Jewish...A

Joods Actueel contacted him and he didn't deny that he kicked out the man, but said ***he did so because the man acted peculiarly. ****

Realizing that there might be consequences the waiter said that he was willing to apologize to the professor if he would so wish.

Anonymous said...

Sir,
you got the news wrong. this man was angry that the price of coffee in this five star restaurant was very high, for all people, and he got angry and made a stink and that is why he was kicked out. Not because he was a Jew or wearing a kippa. Get the facts correct before you JUMP to conclusions. i might also ask of you, sir, what is wrong with your world, that you JUMP so quick without finding out the truth of this sad story. the man was a crazy old skunk who was angry about money. MONEY! not about his yarmulke at all, have you never heard of Jews like that?

Anonymous said...

The story should have been reported:

Marcel Kalmann, a 64-year-old US professor, told the Antwerp Jewish magazine Joods Actueel that he was ejected from the renowned restaurant Le Panier d'Or in Bruges after he became angry about the high price of coffee the waiter was charging him.

When the waiter saw his yarmulke under his cap, he used this detail to call the man a Jew, but that was not the reason the man became angry in the first place.

this story has been blown completely out of proportion, the man was a jerk. and acted like an Ugly American, not like a Jew. his religion had nothing to do with it

check the facts. o i forgot, facts are not important anymore. pure emotion is all that counts. esp in regard to antisem, which
is real

Esther said...

Please see my update:
The Marcel Kalmann story