Ultra-Orthodox proponents of an annexation plan for a Jewish village in New York have stirred up memories of darker days in history by commissioning a map illustrating the location of "Hasidic Jewish landowners," the New York Post reported on Sunday.
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"It reminds all of us of the 1940s, when the Nazis did exactly this – an account of every Jew, and their businesses," said one source who grew up in Kiryas Joel, according to the Post. The village is named for its founder, Satmar Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum.
The village is trying to annex 507 acres of land from the town next door, Monroe, in order to accommodate Kiryas Joel's burgeoning population.
Orange County, in which the two towns are located, posted the map on its website this month, but county officials took it down May 8 because they "did not think the labeling was appropriate," the Post quoted county spokesman Dain Pascocello as explaining.
"I'm scared for my family," wrote Chaim Rolnitzky, a Monre resident and Satmar sect member, in a letter to the Lower Hudson Valley chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union about the map. "Unfortunately, my property was included in the annexation request without my permission, but having my house identified by the owners' alleged religion is something that is reminiscent of segregationist South."
Kiryas Joel officials did not return the Post's calls for comment.