Ukrainian restaurant gains fame for anti-Semitic theme

The 435-year-old Golden Rose Synagogue in Lviv, Ukraine, was ruined by the Nazis in 1943 and remains in its destroyed state as a testament to the dangers of anti-Semitism.

Some, however, seem to have missed the significance of the lesson. A restaurant called Pid Zolotoju Rozoju ("At the Golden Rose") now lies next to the synagogue and markets itself using the same anti-Semitic caricatures that the Nazis championed, JTA reports.

At first glance, the non-kosher restaurant seems elegantly decorated with Yiddish posters and Judaica, while a television shows pictures of the city's thriving Jewish community prior to the arrival of the Nazis.

But any pretense of respect quickly gives way to stereotypes and slurs. The JTA reporter described being served by a waiter wearing a black hat and fake peyot (long sidelocks), who introduced himself as "Moishe," though he soon admitted that his real name is Vlodymir.

The menus do not include any prices because "it's Jewish tradition to haggle," he explained. The offerings include rabbit kidneys though "Moishe" insisted that there are no pig products, before adding that he could arrange some if the customer is willing to pay more for it.

While Pid Zolotoju Rozoju is not the only restaurant looking to make a profit by trivializing Jewish suffering, it is the best known. The Ukrainian head of the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union, explained that it "panders to, and thereby enhances and legitimizes, anti-Semitic attitudes."

The owner, Andriy Khudo, counters that the portrayal of Jews is a sign of affection and respect. He told AFP that he "studied the history of Jews in Lviv for three months" before opening the restaurant.

"We do maybe use stereotypes, but the customers like it," he added. "And Ukrainians, too, like haggling. There’s nothing offensive in it."


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