Berlin Holocaust remembrance event hacked with anti-Semitic messages and images


(JTA) — An online Holocaust remembrance event coordinated by Israel’s embassy in Berlin was hacked with vulgar anti-Semitic images and messages.

Monday evening’s memorial event, a conversation held on the Zoom platform with Dutch-born Holocaust survivor Zvi Herschel, had to be halted shortly after its start when virtual intruders showed images of Hitler and pornographic images. Some also shouted anti-Semitic slogans and yelled “Palestine.”

Berlin police are investigating the “Zoombombing” — a trend that has plagued open events around the world as they have moved online in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. No charges have been filed.

In a tweet, Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, called the incident “an indescribable shame.”

Called “Remembrance in your living room,” the event resumed after the hackers were virtually ejected. Only those with a verifiable user-profile were then allowed to enter, according to the embassy.

Embassy spokesman Shir Gideon told the German media that the embassy is considering filing charges against the as yet unknown perpetrators.

Gideon told the Suddeutsche Zeitung that the embassy suspected the attackers had a neo-Nazi background, as protesters from the anti-Israel boycott movement do not use images of Hitler in their propaganda.

The online event had been announced a few days before.

Herschel was born in 1942 in German-occupied Holland. His parents were deported and murdered in the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. He was hidden and saved by a Dutch Protestant family.

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