Hajo Meyer (1924-2014)

On August 23, 2014 the anti-Zionist activist and Auschwitz survivor Hajo Meyer passed away in his sleep.

Born in Bielefeld (Germany), Hajo fled in early 1939 after the Kristallnacht with other Jewish children to the Netherlands. His parents stayed behind in Germany, and would die later in the camp Theresienstadt. Hajo ended up in a labor settlement for young Jewish refugees, where he was trained as a machine fitter. During the occupation, he went into hiding, but in 1944 he was arrested and put to Auschwitz. There he was forced to maintain railcars as a machine fitter.

After the war he returned to the Netherlands to study theoretical physics, after which he went to work in the Physical Laboratory of Philips. After his retirement he became a violin maker after some courses in England.

In 2000 he was involved in the founding of Een Ander Joods Geluid (A Different Jewish Voice) (EAJG), a Dutch-Jewish organisation promoting the public debate concerning Israel. It wants to break the perceived silence in the Dutch-Jewish community concerning the occupation of the Palestinian Territories by Israel, and strives to support peace activities in this same area.

In 2003 he published the book Het einde van het Jodendom (The End of Judaism), in which he was extremely negative about Israeli politics since the occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967. He called Zionism a betrayal of Judaism. According to him the universal and humanistic Judaism and Zionism are exactly the opposite. He compared the Israeli policy toward the Palestinians with the Nazi policy toward the Jews. Against his critics he said he knows the suffering of the Palestinians did, because he was treated in Germany the same way. After a visit to the Gaza Strip, along with former Dutch Prime Minister Van Agt, he called Gaza "a big concentration camp."

Meyer was active till the end. Just before his death, the New York Times published a letter signed by over 300 Holocaust survivors and descendants of victims: "Survivors and Descendents of Survivors of Nazi Genocide Condemn the Massacre of Palestinians in Gaza" They condemn the Israeli attack on Gaza. Hajo Meyer is the first signatory. He was also a member of IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network).

Auschwitz survivor: "I can identify with Palestinian youth" in The Electronic Intifada (1 June 2009)

In Memoriam: Dr Hajo Meyer on the Jews sans frontieres blog

The last video is an interview of David Neunuebel with Hajo Meyer in Eeast Jerusalem in 2003