German party under fire over Sarrazin

By Toby Axelrod, May 5, 2011

A prominent member of Berlin's Jewish community has withdrawn from Germany's Social Democratic Party after it became clear that the party would not exclude controversial author Thilo Sarrazin over statements he made last year about Muslims and Jews.

Sergey Lagodinsky, 35, a member of the Berlin Jewish community's board, said: "It is unacceptable that the SDP has discontinued the procedure aiming at excluding Sarrazin, whose hateful remarks inspired a lot of resentment against minorities in Germany."

Sarrazin - a former minister of finance for the state of Berlin, whose 2010 book, Germany Abolishes Itself, has become a best-seller - said Muslims are to blame for a dumbing down of German culture. Jews and some others possess superior genes, he suggested. These comments drew harsh criticism from members of Sarrazin's own centre-left party.

The previous version of this article did not accurately reflect the views of Mr Lagodinsky.

Last updated: 12:02pm, May 6 2011