Hajo Meyer the Holocaust survivor whose memory is abused by antisemites

Hajo Meyer was a German born Dutch Holocaust survivor, who at the age of 79 became a political anti-Israel activist. Born in 1924 Meyer was sent to the Netherlands in 1939 when he was 14 years old by his parents, Gustav and Therese, after he was no longer allowed to attend German school following the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jewish citizens and businesses across Germany. His parents, unable to leave Germany, both perished in 1944, his father at Theresienstadt, his mother just before deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In the Netherlands Meyer, by then a committed atheist, moved around refugee camps, attending Jewish vocational training college where he discovered a love for engineering. At 16 Meyer was taken in by a foster family who helped him enroll in the Jewish Montessori high school in Amsterdam, but in 1943 he was forced into hiding, being captured a year later and sent to Auschwitz for 10 months.

When the war ended Meyer returned to the Netherlands where he went on to become the director of the Philips Physics Laboratory (NatLab) retiring in 1984, spending his early retirement as a talented violin maker.

But at the age of 79 Hajo Meyer, who had never previously expressed a political or anti-Israel attitude, began to voice extreme views and make absurd accusations, including accusing Mossad of carrying out the 9/11 attack. His words were seized upon and exploited by antisemites who saw his fanciful conspiracy theories and antisemitic rhetoric as a means to further their cause.

Meyer’s book ‘The End of Judaism’, also resulted in him being labelled an ‘expert in applied Judeophobia’ alongside Abraham Melzer, by a German court in 2007.

Appearing to thrive on the attention, Meyer continued to attend rallies and political events attacking Judaism and making false accusations, regularly comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis. He gave his final interview to Electronic Intifada, the extreme anti-Israel propaganda publication, just three weeks before his death in 2014.

Meyer’s latter years have seen him described as a ‘dancing bear’ wanting to please his Israel hating ringmasters and, by the famous Dutch writer and columnist Leon de Winter, as a self hating and vain man, suffering from a “sad and extreme case of ‘survival guilt’, which has led to hatred of everything that is Jewish.”

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