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Belgium / 17-04-2012

Belgian doctor suspended for alleged antisemitism


Brussels - Surgeon in Brussels hospital allegedly abused a Jewish colleague, hurling Nazi slogans and racial slurs at him.

A hospital in Brussels on Monday suspended one of its surgeons for allegedly hurling Nazi slogans and racial slurs at a Jewish colleague.


The surgeon later offered apologies via emails sent to the management of the hospital, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, and to Belgium’s main Jewish publication which first reported on the incident, Joods Actueel.


The surgeon reportedly called out “sieg heil” and told his Dutch-born, Jewish subordinate to “head back into the gas chambers,” according to a complaint which the Jewish doctor filed with the Center for Equal Opportunities, a watchdog on discrimination.



The incident reportedly happened on Monday morning at the hospital during an argument between the suspended physician - specializing in orthopedic surgery - and the younger Dutch-born doctor.


The complainant, who recently returned from a vacation in Israel, further said the surgeon told him to “go back to the Dead Sea and be dead.”


Edgard Eeckman, spokesperson for the hospital, said that hospital management would investigate the incident by hearing both sides and witnesses to “quickly determine whether to sanction the man.”


Hospital authorities identified the man as Dr. Frank H. Eeckman added he was “a difficult man,” referring to a previous complaint against the surgeon for alleged violent behaviour in July.


Michael Freilich, editor-in-chief of the paper Joods Actueel, said that in his mail to the newsroom, the surgeon said he “never meant what was said in a moment of rage,” adding that a relative of his had spent four years at a prisoners camp under Nazi occupation. He aded he had “a lot of respect for the Jewish people and Israel.”


Additionally, the surgeon sent an apology to the Jewish doctor he is accused of verbally attacking.