Controversial German banker claims Jews share gene

By Toby Axelrod, September 2, 2010

The author of a new book on the future of Germany has caused a major stir by claiming that all Jews share the same genetic make-up and espousing theories of racial superiority, according to which Jews are among those who have high-class genes.

Jewish and Turkish leaders have decried the doomsday book, Deutschland schafft sich ab ("Germany abolishes itself"), which also blames the country's problems on Muslim immigrants.

There have been calls for the author, former Berlin finance minister Thilo Sarrazin, to resign from his current position on the board of Germany's central bank.

The Social Democratic Party, which Mr Sarrazin represents, has begun proceedings to have him ousted.

So heated is the atmosphere surrounding the August 30 book release, that Mr Sarrazin's first public reading, scheduled for September 2 in the city of Hildesheim, was cancelled due to security concerns.

Stephan Kramer, general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said Mr Sarrazin's views on minorities put him firmly in the neo-Nazi camp.

In fact, the extreme-right neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany openly applauded Mr Sarrazin for "saying openly what most Germans think".

But the NPD disagreed with his assessment of Jews, saying that "the Jew is not suddenly my friend because I am against Muslims [in Germany], and the Muslim is not my friend because I am against Israel."

Last updated: 2:34pm, September 2 2010