The refusal of Lufthansa airlines to allow a large group of Jews in Frankfurt to board a connecting flight has garnered worldwide coverage.
Many people are surprised by this display of anti-Semitism.
Indeed, one irate passenger says, “This is 2022, and Germany is a Western ountry! I am shocked.”
HaRav Menashe Klein Zt”L would be surprised at those who are “shocked.”
If we recall the history of Lufthansa, we, too, will not be surprised.
Lufthansa airlines is a direct descendant of Deutsche Luft Hansa, Hitler’s airline.
One of the original founders of the airline in 1926 was Erhard Milch.
He was appointed by Hermann Göring to be head of the Aviation Ministry when Hitler came to power in 1933.
Milch would later be convicted of war crimes.
During World War II, Deutsche Lufthansa employed more than 10,000 forced Jewish laborers.
The present company Lufthansa was founded as Luftag in 1953 by the former Deutsche Luft Hansa staff.
It was founded in Cologne in January 1953.
Two prominent board members of the “new” airline included; Kurt Weigelt, a Nazi convicted of war crimes, and Kurt Knipfer, a member of the Nazi party from 1929 who led Luft Hansa from 1933 to 1945.
Luftag acquired the Luft Hansa name and logo.
Enough of Lufthansa.
Just don’t be surprised. After all, this is their legacy.
One more thing:
When researching a different topic, I came across (obviously from Hashem) a fascinating Teshuva from HaRav Menashe Klein (1924–2011).
HaRav Klein was a famous and well-respected Posek and author of the 18 volume responsa: Mishneh Halachos.
During the war, Harav Klein did time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.
He was with Elie Wiesel, and they remained life-long friends.
In the summer of 1981, he was asked by a bachur, Dovid Segal Deutch from London, a question on behalf of a friend who lived in Deutschland (Germany).
The question involved if he could daven in a Shul where the members were not Shomer Shabbos.
Rav Klein deals with the issue.
Rav Klein concludes with a rare personal comment to the questioner where he expresses his bewilderment at the entire situation.
“Truthfully, in these days where there are (with Hashem’s help) strong Torah observant communities. What is a Torah observant Jew doing in the “cemetery” which is that cursed country?”
(Mishneh Halachos Chelek 10 Siman 15)
Rav Menashe Klein Zt”L is asking a good question.