Hotel ousts far right
A GERMAN hotelier has outwitted the country’s main far-right party, by threatening to donate the income from their stay to the local synagogue if they did not cancel their booking.
Hotelier Johannes Lohmeyer of Offenbach, in the former East German state of Lower Saxony, was shocked to learn that a leading member of the extremist National Democratic Party of Germany had booked two rooms at his Holiday Inn.
His dilemma was how to get out of it legally. Mr Lohmeyer, a prominent member of the centre-right Free Democratic Party, devised a clever scheme: he wrote a public letter, telling NPD deputy national chairman Holger Apfel and his comrade, Alexander Delle, that if they did not cancel their booking he would donate all the fees to the Dresden Synagogue.
In his letter, sent to local newspapers, Mr Lohmeyer told Mr Apfel and Mr Delle to “consider it as a small contribution to reparations for the damages that your like-minded fellows of the past inflicted on the synagogue, and more importantly, on their former congregants”. The strategy worked, and the bookings were cancelled.
Meanwhile, the party had other troubles in the former West Germany. The NPD had cancelled its annual conference, scheduled for next weekend, because their chosen venue refused to host them.
According to reports in the German media, the NPD went to court to try to hold the Weser Ems Hall in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, to its contract.
But the court ruled that the venue’s tenant could refuse access since only public institutions are required to make space available to political parties.
While the hall is a municipal building, it is leased to a private tenant.