(JTA) – Human rights activists in Belarus complained about a pub owner’s decision to name one of his signature cocktails after the Holocaust.
The controversy about the Holocaust cocktail was reported last week by Radio Racyja, which displayed on its website a picture of the menu at the Red Pub in Gomel, Belarus’ second-largest city, located 190 miles southeast of the capital, Minsk.
Andrei Strizhak, founder of the Belarus Freedom Movement, a nongovernmental organization working to improve human rights in the country known as Europe’s last dictatorship, told the radio station that the incident reflects “ignorance, but not necessarily anti-Semitism.”
Strizhak, who has participated in Holocaust commemoration ceremonies and activities in Belarus, called on the Red Pub’s owners to apologize to the local Jewish community and remove the item, calling it “something that is difficult to swallow.” He also said that “the next step is to name a cocktail after Khatyn,” a reference to the site of a village in what is today Belarus, where German occupation forces in 1943 massacred thousands of civilians.
The ingredients of the cocktail marketed as “Holocaust” are listed as sweet liqueur, tequila and Sambuca. Listed with other drinks in the “head shots” category, the Holocaust cocktail is priced at $7.80, making it the priciest beverage on its page of the menu.
Xenia Chyndarava, the patron who sent the picture to Radio Racyja, said she was “shocked” to find the Holocaust cocktail on the menu. She said Red Pub was one of Gomel’s finest bars but that she would not set foot in it until the item is removed from the menu.