Thilo Sarrazin, and the Germans' Great Mistake
Throughout the summer, former director of the German Bundesbank and a longtime adherent of the German Social Democrats, Thilo Sarrazin, remained in the crosshairs of the German political class for his controversial work dealing with the relation between high crime and Germany immigration policy. Only by the peculiar standards of Germany's national parties, courts, and educators, could Sarrazin's work, Deutschland schafft sich ab, be considered even edgy. Sarrazin was long in a party that spends much of its moral energy apologizing for the entire German past and trying to obliterate German national identity through Third World immigration. He represented the Social Democrats in Berlin's very leftist municipal government and achieved his position at the Bundesbank because of his party connections.
Sarrazin's book, which climbed to the top of the German bestseller list, is, moreover, far from a blanket condemnation of immigration. The author argues that having uneducated and crime-prone Muslims settle in Germany has been bad for the country. The costs have far outweighed the benefits in terms of violent crime, urban disruption and financial costs. If Germans need more foreign workers (which given its 11% unemployment rate and continuing brain drain, they plainly do not), it might be best to import Jews from Eastern Europe.
Sarrazin laments the Nazi treatment of the Jews, whom he presents as a cognitively gifted and productive people. He calls for replenishing Germany's Jewish population, and thereby ensuring a mental enrichment of German society. It might be objected that this policy would result in taking jobs away from vulnerable Germans.
Paul Gottfried [send him mail] is Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and author of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, The Strange Death of Marxism, and Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right. His latest book is Encounters: My Life with Nixon, Marcuse, and Other Friends and Teachers.
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