Sunday, December 19, 2010

The dark history of the "Hotel Tiberias" in Tiberias

The former "Hotel Tiberias" today.

Photo: Miriam Woelke


“Hotel Tiberias” was one of the first hotels in Tiberias. Located very close to the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) and founded by Richard Grossmann in 1896. 
During my research about a related subject I heard different opinions about the origin of the Grossmann family. Generally, people claim that the Grossmanns came from Germany. A former, well - known, mayor of Tiberias, Moshe Zachar, however, wrote in his biography, that the Grossmanns were Swiss. 

The family ran the hotel in a very German style, as you can see on the picture below. There is no doubt that they were quite successful and even added the "Lido Beach" nearby. The hotel was a kind of unique because it had warm water. In 1938, Richard's son Fritz took over the management of "Hotel Tiberias" but he later committed suicide when he found out that his wife betrayed him.

With the beginning of the Second World War, the Grossmanns including their German staff, escaped at night. No one knew where they had disappeared to. Some sources state that the Grossmanns moved to Australia. The reason for their escape was their political ideology. First of all, the family was Christian but not only that. They were also missionaries. Secondly, as I was told from the Tiberias Archives, the Grossmanns supported Hitler and thus, turned into the enemy of the British as soon as the war broke out. Before being deported by the British, the Grossmanns ran away one night. 

The family was not alone because there were a few similar cases in Tiberias. Not only there, but also in Jerusalem where some Christian German families lived in today's German colony and were publically showing the Nazi flag. After a while, those Christians got thrown out by the British. 

After the Grossmanns had escaped, the British Army took over the building. Today hardly anyone in Tiberias still knows about the history of the former "Hotel Tiberias" and its weird owners.

The dining room of the former "Hotel Tiberias".

Archive Picture

1 comment:

  1. Found some old hotels' spoons. info was great