The Plassey Holiday Park in Wales has been compared to a concentration camp in a Tripadvisor review. The owner of the park responded in what he believed to be a humorous way, posing as a Nazi commandant and writing his response in German.

While he thought he was being funny at the time, owner John Brookshaw’s response to the 1/5 Tripadvisor review has attracted criticism from the Jewish community.

Bad review on Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor user 'but2n2018' posted the review, comparing Plassey Holiday Park to a concentration camp. The reviewer was at the holiday park with their family and said while the park was okay, they found the staff to be rude, adding that the owner was the rudest man they had ever come across.

According to the reviewer, his children were “constantly watched” and the park warden had shouted at their daughter, making her cry. When the reviewer complained to the owner, they found him to be equally rude. They also wrote that the warden kept looking into their caravan. The Tripadvisor review ended by saying if anyone wants a good, fun holiday, they shouldn’t go there.

The holiday park's owner, John Brookshaw, made the mistake of responding with what he believed to be humour, posing as the "SS Camp Commandant of the Plassey.” He wrote the response in German, but the Daily Post has provided an English translation.

Basically, Brookshaw wrote that he was very sad the reviewer had not enjoyed his concentration camp while assuring them it is among the best parks in North Wales.

He wrote that his “camp commandants” didn’t want to make people cry, adding that this was inevitable due to the hard work of being locked up for hours, constantly patrolling with machine guns and armed guards with vicious dogs.

Brookshaw went on to write that he was disappointed not to meet the reviewer in person but went on to assure them they wouldn’t have been shot. He added that he is a “very nice commander,” and that he was superior to the North Wales Gestapo commander, who can be rather strict. Brookshaw ended his response with kind regards, signing his name as John Brookshaw, SS Camp Commandant of the Plassey.”

Brookshaw’s response upsets Jewish community

WalesOnline quotes Professor Nathan Abrams of Bangor University, who is involved in the British Jewish Contemporary Cultures Network. Abrams said the Jewish community found the exchange between the reviewer and owner of Plassey Holiday Park to be upsetting. He said this exchange was demeaning and offensive when looked at from a Jewish perspective.

It was also insulting to the real victims of the concentration camps and the harrowing events that took place there.

Abrams did admit that the Tripadvisor reviewer made a silly comment and that the response was silly too. However, he said there was no reason for the owner to reply in a “stupid and offensive” way. Abrams mentioned the Holocaust and also the current, ongoing row about anti-Semitism expressed by the Labour party. He said the language should be more sensitive.

Response by park owner

Speaking to the Daily Post, holiday park owner Brookshaw insisted his response had been “light-hearted,” and went on to say he believes the reviewer had left the park upset, over failing to pay extra charges for his pets. He said the review was “clearly untrue” and that the reviewer was attempting to slander his business. He then insisted that his response was “jokey” and ridiculous, but that the original review was also ridiculous. He said he didn’t mean to offend anyone, and that his response should be taken in the light-hearted manner in which it was written.

Brookshaw went on to say he is frustrated that Tripadvisor allows false reviews of this nature and that he had reported it. The review and its response have since been deleted.

Overall Tripadvisor rating is 5/5

The Plassey Holiday Park is located in Wrexham, Wales and has camping and caravan sites and other facilities including a restaurant, golf course and clubhouse. There is also a retail village on site. The park has received a number of awards in recent years and its overall Tripadvisor rating is 5/5. 598 of the 698 reviews received so far label the park as “excellent.”