BONN, Sept. 4 (JTA) – A German musician has filed a
lawsuit against the Berlin Opera for firing him during a May tour of
Israel. The 54-year-old bassist, Gerd Reinke, was in a hotel bar in Herzliya when a waiter came up with the check. He insulted the waiter and then signed “Adolf Hitler” on the bill. The highly publicized incident triggered a storm of protests at the time and nearly caused the cancellation of the Berlin Opera’s scheduled performances in Israel. Reinke said this week that he was drunk and denied that his behavior reflected an anti-Semitic bias. “It was just a joke,” he told a German judge, who unsuccessfully tried to work out a financial settlement of the matter. The Berlin Opera management said it could not re-employ Reinke because it had lost trust in him.