German airline Lufthansa is alleged to have stopped anyone who appeared to be Jewish from boarding a flight out of Frankfurt.
More than a hundred people who were visibly Jewish were barred from a flight by airline staff and armed police.
The shocking scene at the departure gate came after a small number of Jewish passengers on a previous flight from New York to Frankfurt refused to wear face masks, according to the airline.
The group were on their way to Budapest on an annual pilgrimage to commemorate a Chasidic rabbi.
It is claimed by passengers that Lufthansa employees at Frankfurt Airport took action to bar all passengers who appeared visibly Jewish from boarding the connecting flight.
In a video which has since gone viral, a member of Lufthansa staff is asked why Jewish passengers were being prevented from boarding the plane due to the actions of a few people.
One passenger asks: “I was wearing a mask the whole time, why am I lumped in with them?”
'Jewish people were the mess, they made the problemss'— The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) May 9, 2022
An angry passenger confronts @lufthansa staff member after Jewish passengers were banned from a flight on the airline after a dispute over facemasks. pic.twitter.com/XARkJyRqWZ
The airline employee replied: “It was one, everyone has to pay for a couple.”
The shocked passenger then asked: “What do you mean everybody, everybody from that race? Everybody else on the flight went.”
The Lufthansa employee denied that everybody else on the arriving flight from New York was allowed to board the flight, to which the passenger responded: “The non-Jewish people on the flight went. Why are only the Jewish people paying for other people’s crimes?”
The staff member replied: “Because it’s Jews coming from JFK.”
The passenger responded: “Oh, so Jewish people coming from JFK are paying for the crimes of a few people?”
Eventually the airline employee said: “If you want to do it like this, [it was] Jewish people who were the mess, who made the problems.”
The passenger then asked: “So Jewish people on the plane made a problem, so all Jews are banned from Lufthansa for the day?”
The airline employee replied: “Just for this flight.”
At least 127 Jewish people are said to have been prevented from boarding, leaving the flight out carrying only 30 passengers.
A spokesperson for Lufthansa told the JC: “We confirm that a larger group of passengers could not be carried on flight LH1334 from Frankfurt to Budapest on May 4, 2022 as planned.
“The background was incidents on the previous flight LH401 from New York to Frankfurt. On this flight, some of the passengers with the planned onward journey to Budapest had repeatedly refused - even after repeated requests from the crew - to wear masks and to follow the safety regulations during the flight.
“Wearing medical masks or FFP2 masks on board Lufthansa flights is mandatory by the German government, similar to other countries, especially on international flights.
“The flight to Budapest took off with a slight delay and just under 30 passengers on board. We apologise to all guests for the inconvenience this has caused, including those who were unable to travel on this particular flight.
“Lufthansa is currently investigating the events of May 4th in order to clarify the exact processes and background of the incident.”
A spokesman for the federal police at Frankfurt Airport told the JC: “Lufthansa called us and said that some of this group from JFK were not following the rules – putting on seat belts, wearing masks etc.
“They said they had decided not to take them any further when they arrived in Frankfurt, and so, as a preventative measure, they called us simply as a security measure.”
“We did not make any decision at all about who could fly and who could not. As the police even if we did think that their decision was discriminatory, as the police we can’t then make the decision about who can and who cannot fly.”