Virtual shiva allegedly Zoom-bombed with videos of Adolf Hitler
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Virtual shiva allegedly Zoom-bombed with videos of Adolf Hitler

'It will make the Jewish people stronger to confront this kind of rabid hatred, and we will not be cowed by this kind of behaviour'

A shiva service was allegedly Zoom-bombed with antisemitic material. Picture is a generic image of a Zoom call, unrelated to the incident.

(Photo by Jonas Gustavsson/Sipa USA)
A shiva service was allegedly Zoom-bombed with antisemitic material. Picture is a generic image of a Zoom call, unrelated to the incident. (Photo by Jonas Gustavsson/Sipa USA)

An online shiva was allegedly Zoom-bombed with Holocaust denial and videos of Adolf Hitler.

The service was hosted last Wednesday evening to commemorate Linda Huglin, who died in hospital at 68.

Her husband Victor said on Monday: “It will make the Jewish people stronger to confront this kind of rabid hatred, and we will not be cowed by this kind of behaviour.”

The widower added that the family “will stand tall as Jewish people and proud as Jewish people.”

Linda Huglin was “was extremely intelligent and held the highest moral value”, her husband Victor said.

Mourner Gwendoline Lamb, 67, from Middlesbrough, said she had tuned into Wednesday’s Zoom shiva when a group suddenly appeared on screen, gathered in what she claimed resembled a private room in a pub.

“They were shouting ‘there was no such thing as the Holocaust, absolute rubbish, there was never a Holocaust’,” she alleged. “They were showing films of Hitler and everybody’s saluting Hitler and Hitler’s speaking, and they were laughing and shouting that there was no such thing as the Holocaust.”

Lamb, who lost relatives in the Holocaust, described the incident as “absolutely horrendous” and expressed anger she had not captured screenshots of the moment.

Fellow mourner Raphael Gee, 57, from London, said the alleged interruption came approximately 25 minutes into the live-stream.”There were pictures of Nazi swastikas, fire flames. It was really crude,” he said.

“We were just so shocked by it. We just needed to get the hell out of the meeting as quickly as possible. It just didn’t come to us until later that perhaps we could have taken some could have taken some screenshots,” he added.

Allerton Hebrew Congregation does not have a recording of the service, according to its administrator David Coleman, who was not on the call but later reported the incident to the police. “It was supposed to have been recorded. All those sessions were supposed to be recorded, but that one for some reason wasn’t,” he added.

The synagogue will increase the security of its virtual events, he said. “From what I understand, somebody put it on Facebook that it was going to be streamed, and it shows the absolute danger of Facebook and putting things on Facebook,” he added.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said the force “received a report from another force in relation to a hate crime incident involving antisemitic comments that were made over a video conferencing platform on the evening of Wednesday 5 August 2020.”

“The report was passed to Dorset Police as the original informant was in the county at the time of the incident. Officers contacted them and established that the majority of the victims in this incident were in the Merseyside area and we are liaising with Merseyside Police so they can carry out further enquiries.”

Linda is survived by her husband, three sons Joshua, Sam and David, and her siblings Paul Rosenblatt and Esther Isaacs.

She “believed in the generosity of the heart and her house was always open for visitors” her husband said. “She was a fierce, strong leader and a voice for numerous good causes and as well as investing herself, she also contributed generously financially,” he added.

Her services to the local Jewish community included chairing the Community Security Trust’s Liverpool branch.

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