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Antwerp Mayor Accused of Insulting Jews; Newspaper Voices Indignation

April 10, 1964
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Antwerp was rocked today by an incident in which the Mayor of this city allegedly unloosed a stream of viciously anti-Semitic insults at two men when he learned they were Jews, one an Israeli.

Le Matin, Antwerp’s French-language daily, the largest in Belgium, declared editorially today: “We wish to declare our indignation and shame. As Belgians and as citizens of Antwerp we are ashamed–yes, ashamed–that such a person should hold such a position and should be allowed to discredit our city with spiteful nonsense.”

The incident occurred when Mayor Lode Crayebeck entered a cafe near City Hall and invited himself to a table occupied by the two Jews, and began a cordial conversation with them. Inadvertently learning they were Jews, he reportedly began shouting insults such as “dirty Jews, cowards, parasites, ” and saying “the crematoria did not do enough work.”

Three Jews from another table joined the altercation and, if the Mayor had not been separated from the five Jews, the fracas would probably have ended in blows. The five Jews complained to the Anti-Defamation Committee of B’nai B’rith, and the Committee called a meeting to decide on appropriate measures. The five testified under oath to the Committee.

Grayebeck, who has been Antwerp Mayor for many years, has frequently attended Jewish functions and maintains personal relations with many Jews. A member of the Socialist party, he has officially visited Israel several times. It was resumed he had been ill when the incident occurred.

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