Former Bundesbank board member claims Germany's European policy is motivated by Holocaust guilt



Thilo Sarrazin, the former Bundesbank member who caused outrage with his racist theories about Muslim immigration, has stoked fresh controversy with a new book claiming that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s European policy is motivated by German guilt for the Holocaust and World War II.

Mr Sarrazin, 67, won dubious fame in 2010 with his best-selling book “Deutschland schafft sich ab” (Germany is doing away with itself), which argued that the country was being swamped with illiterate, semi-criminal Muslim immigrants. Despite being widely condemned as racist propaganda, it sold over 1.3 million copies.

The former finance expert, who lost his seat on the board of the Bundesbank because of his controversial views, has now written a second 464-page treatise called “Europe doesn’t need the Euro” to coincide with the current eurozone crisis in which he rants against the single currency.

In a deliberate attack on German political correctness, Mr Sarrazin insists that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to rescue the Euro are being: “driven by the very German reflex that the Holocaust and World War II will only be finally atoned for when all our interests, including our money, is in Europe’s hands.”

He also claims in his book that the process of European integration is a piece of “pure ideology” which derives from the fact that Germany started the war. He claims it had since resulted in “Germany becoming a hostage to all those who could be in need of help in the eurozone.”

In the book, which goes on sale in Germany tomorrow, Mr Sarrazin argues that the Berlin’s decision in May 2010 to provide financial backing for a Greek bailout was a travesty of justice because it contradicted the terms on which the government had persuaded voters to accept the euro. “It threw the German model for currency union on the scrap heap of history,” he insists.

The author says his work is a response to recent statements by Chancellor Merkel in which she claimed: “If the euro fails, then Europe fails.” He argues that as Germany has an export-based economy, it does not need the Euro.

Mr Sarrazin’s theories were given a first test last night when he appeared on the German ARD network’s prime time evening talk show. Insisting that the euro was a common currency which “does not work”, he discussed his new book with Peer Steinbru(umlaut)ck a former Social Democrat finance minister.

Mr Steinbruck accused his discussion partner of overlooking the many advantages that the euro had brought to Germany and argued that the single currency had been a “pillar of European integration.”

Dismissing his Holocaust claims as “ historical amnesia”, Mr Steinbruck described the book as a piece of “banal economic analysis”  and said it ignored the fact that a bank crisis was as much to blame for Europe’s problems as the crisis over debt. “Sarrazin can make up all the bullshit he likes,” he told viewers.

Politicians today lined up to condemn the book. Wolfgang Schäuble the German finance minister remarked: “Either he (Sarrazin) writes screaming nonsense out of conviction or his work is an act of contemptible calculation.”

Green Party leader Juäregen Trittin accused Mr Sarrazin of “Chauvinism for the Mark” and said he ignored the fact that as a top exporter Germany had profited massively from the euro. “Paying out money to keep the euro is a worthwhile investment for our country,” he said. Reinhold Robbe, the president of the Germany-Israel association dismissed Mr Sarrazin’s theories as “nonsense which is not worth talking about.”

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam