Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr apologized to the Rav of Berlin Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal for the anti-Semitic incident last week in which all visibly Jewish passengers were banned from their connecting flight due to several Jews who refused to wear a mask. All the Jews in that specific group were banned but even worse was that even Jews traveling independently of that group were banned – over 130 Jews.
“We apologize for what happened,” Spohr told Rabbi Teichtal via a 30-minute zoom conversation on Wednesday night. “This is not in line with our rules of communication and behavior.”
“Antisemitism has no place in Lufthansa. What happened should not have happened. Our company represents a connection between people, cultures, and nations. Openness and tolerance are the cornerstones and there is no room for antisemitism.”
Rabbi Teichtal responded: “If an employee wearing a Lufthansa uniform acts in an inappropriate manner – fears and accusations of antisemitism are completely legitimate. We should expect more sensitivity from a German corporation.”
Following the apology, Dans Deals spoke with Rabbi Teichtal, who said that the CEO’s apology sounded genuine and personal, unlike the airline’s official apology it issued on Tuesday, and that the employees involved in the incident have been suspended, pending an investigation.
Spohr also requested to meet Rabbi Teichtal in person next week to further discuss the incident. Rabbi Teichtal recommended that all Lufthansa employees undergo sensitivity training to avoid future incidents.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)