JTA – March 23, 2011
A Dutch-German Holocaust survivor has been promoting a boycott of Israel during a speaking tour that recently took him to South Africa.
Hajo Meyer, 86, a survivor of Auschwitz, announced his support for a boycott at a dinner in Cape Town on March 20, according to Sowetan Live online. He found a receptive audience in, among others, former South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils and Western Cape high court Judge Siraj Desa.
Born in Germany, Meyer escaped to Holland when he was 14, after the Nazis barred Jews from attending public schools. He was deported to Auschwitz after a year in hiding in Holland. Meyer’s parents were murdered in the Holocaust.
Meyer now says that life for a Jew in occupied Holland was better than life for a Palestinian in the West Bank or Gaza today. He participated in the “Never Again — For Anyone” tour that visited a dozen U.S. cities this winter.
The Anti-Defamation League on its website called the tour “the latest effort by anti-Israel activists to exploit the sacred memory of the Holocaust for the purpose of painting its victim, the Jewish people, as the ‘new oppressor in the form of Israel.’ “
According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Germans and their Dutch collaborators deported 107,000 Jews to the death camps at Auschwitz and Sobibor in 1942-43; approximately 5,200 survived. Of the 25,000-30,000 Jews who went into hiding, two-thirds survived.