Belgian anti-racism groups have criticised a public broadcaster's airing of a video revealing a guide at Auschwitz telling visiting youngsters that she is pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic because of Israel.
The video was on air by the Flemish VRT network as part of the programme Terzake. It was a trip organised by the "Trein der 100" camp which is in Poland. The programme is set out to teach youngsters about the Holocaust in an attempt to educate them about racism.
At the camp, the group's Jewish guide, Lydia Chagoll, 84, is seen saying: "I am pro-Palestinian. I'm anti-Semitic." Chagoll made the incredible statement while talking to 18-year-old Fida'a Temraz, a Belgian high school student of Palestinian descent, and several other students.
Referencing Israel, Chagoll added: "I am an anti-Semite, because I think it is a scandal that cannot be permitted. It cannot happen."
In a written statement, the Flemish Forum of Jewish Organizations said that Chagoll's statement about being anti-Semitic was sarcasm. "An activity meant to be educational turned into a disgusting and historically incorrect statement."
Termaz said in an interview for VRT: "The situation now is Palestine, the occupation and the Holocaust, and Jewry, all is interconnected." She added: "Hadn't they (Jews) experienced it, I would have never come to Belgium, and I would have been born and raised in Palestine."
Chagoll, an artist and a writer, spent World War Two in the Far East, in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, after her Dutch parents fled to Holland.
However, in Auschwitz she told the group how the smell of burning flesh at Auschwitz "penetrated everything, the woods and the walls, it is something you can't forget." She also went on to tell the group that Jews were stripped naked and gunned down.
Joel Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, told JTA: "The trip meant to inoculate teens against anti-Semitism ended up possibly infecting them with it."
He went on to say that that his group was looking into initiating legal or disciplinary action against VRT for airing the programme.