Anti-Immigrant and Anti-Euro, Germany’s Thilo Sarrazin Is Not Sorry

Cameron Abadi, Business Week, May 23, 2013

Even if he weren’t one of Germany’s best-selling authors, Thilo Sarrazin would be a hard man to miss. His silver mustache and perpetually squinting left eye lend him a distinctive, slightly sinister air. Yet on this chilly spring morning, Sarrazin manages to go unnoticed at the Wiener Conditorei Caffeehaus, a bustling Viennese-style cafe in an affluent neighborhood of western Berlin. For Sarrazin, venturing out isn’t as easy as it used to be. His public appearances require security protection, and there are whole areas of Berlin where he’s so unpopular that he can no longer book a dinner reservation.

Sipping tea, he starts talking about the Holocaust. “Our guilt from the war is abused in political arguments,” he says. “It’s used to suggest how we should we treat migrants, and that our asylum policies should be as liberal as possible, and that we should bail out other countries using the euro.” He pauses to take a drink. “But none of that has anything to do with the objective facts of our past.”

In the last three years, Sarrazin, 68, has published two dense but hugely popular books, both of which have taken aim at the political consensus that has guided German politics for decades. The first warned that the country’s identity was being destroyed by Muslim immigrants, who Sarrazin said are less intelligent than native Germans. It sold 1.5 million copies. The second, released last year, argued that Germany should abandon the euro; the only thing standing in the way of such a move, according to him, was Germany’s guilt about the Holocaust and sentimental attachment to European unity.

Sarrazin’s views cost him his job on the board of the Bundesbank and nearly got him kicked out of the Social Democratic Party. {snip}

In other parts of Europe, Sarrazin’s themes—the dangers of Islam and the euro—might not attract much controversy. But in postwar Germany, where the traumas of the Nazi regime still define the boundaries of acceptable public discourse, the major parties have always agreed to keep quiet about some subjects. A recent poll showed that fully one-third of Germans say there is no “freedom of opinion” in the country.

{snip}

Sarrazin was born in February 1945, three months before the surrender of the Nazi regime, in the small western German city of Recklinghausen. The son of a doctor, he graduated from the local elite high school before going on to study economics at the University of Bonn. He earned his Ph.D. in 1973 and joined the German civil service.

He arrived in Berlin in 2002 as the Social Democratic Party’s choice to become the city’s finance minister. His previous stops included high-level posts as an adviser in the federal finance ministry and as an economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. He also served a stint as a member of the board of Deutsche Bahn, the federal railway system.

{snip}

{snip} In February 2008, to demonstrate that welfare payments were too generous, he had his staff draw up a menu that was affordable on about €4 per day, then publicly restricted himself to that diet for a week. In the face of rising energy costs later that year, Sarrazin advised low-income families to put on extra sweaters in the winter rather than waste money on heat. In 2009 he castigated Muslim immigrants for their lack of economic productivity, declaring in a magazine interview that “I don’t have to respect anybody who lives off of the state, who rejects the state, who doesn’t provide for the education of their kids, and who constantly produces new headscarf-girls.” He later told the newspaper Die Zeit, “I believe that sentence was one of my masterpieces. It started a discussion. That was its function.”

By the end of 2009, Sarrazin had left Berlin to join the board of the German central bank in Frankfurt. He also started working on a book summarizing his views on immigration, Islam, and the welfare state. Published a year later, Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab (Germany Is Abolishing Itself) warned that the country was on the precipice of extinction. Sarrazin cited demographic trends—including the influx of Muslim immigrants and the refusal of “intelligent” native Germans to reproduce—that he said were leading to the irrevocable collapse of the country’s cultural identity. Plenty of populists in Europe had attacked Muslims for disrupting traditional European culture. Sarrazin’s contribution was to argue that the available IQ data proved that Muslims are actually incapable of integrating into Western society.

The publisher ordered only 25,000 copies for the book’s first run in August 2010. That was before Germany’s politicians decided to attack it. The leaders of the major parties variously described him as a “moral failure” and a “tribal warrior.” The head of one of the country’s public broadcasters declared on television that Sarrazin had abandoned “the democratic consensus.”

The assaults backfired. Even if Germans didn’t agree with Sarrazin’s book, they seemed eager to be provoked by it. Having sold 1.5 million copies, Sarrazin’s book has become one of the best-selling nonfiction books since the country’s reunification in 1990. (By comparison, Michael Lewis’s bestseller, Moneyball, has sold just under 1 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen BookScan (NLSN).) After the Bundesbank forced Sarrazin to resign, he began a sold-out lecture tour across the country. The chairman of the Social Democrats supported an attempt to expel Sarrazin from the party but backtracked when it became clear that a large proportion of party members sympathized with his arguments. Just a few weeks after announcing that Sarrazin’s denigration of Muslims was “completely unhelpful,” Merkel declared that multiculturalism had “utterly failed.”

Sarrazin’s follow-up, Europa Braucht den Euro Nicht (Europe Doesn’t Need the Euro), published last May, declared it was a mistake for Germany to have created the currency; that corruption, mismanagement, and indolence were endemic to southern European culture; and that Berlin would be better off leaving the euro, or at least inflicting harsher terms on its indebted neighbors. Germans, Sarrazin wrote, should cease feeling that they need to “atone for the Holocaust and World War II” by putting “all our interests and money into European hands.” {snip}

Sarrazin’s transition from anonymous civil servant to national bête noir has made him wealthy and vilified. A national newspaper recently labeled him a “whore” who had prostituted himself to the German media. (Sarrazin sued for libel and lost.) That hasn’t changed his righteousness. “People only get angry when something gets questioned that they think of as part of their identity but then cannot justify,” he says. When asked if he would change anything about his books, he is curt: “I only wish I’d expressed myself even more sharply.”

{snip}

Sarrazin is at work on his next book, though he won’t reveal its subject. He says his goal is to limn the virtues of German pessimism. “If you’re happy that the sun is shining, then you don’t need to solve any problems,” he says. “Pessimism is a precondition of any real cultural or intellectual progress.”

{snip}

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  • David Ashton

    We need European solidarity against non-European mass-settlement, and the ruling class that promotes it. Not the EU but a Union of Europeans. German nationalism could be a problem for different reasons than in 1939.

    • Pan Europa

      Germany may be the last to be thrown into nationalist revolution due to historical reasons, but that will change as the larger Euro block sorts itself out when the West goes dark. It`s always darkest before the dawn.

    • Romulus

      I’ve always thought Europe could do well to go back to the beginning. The very successful divide and conquer strategy implemented by cease would forever preclude a culture of, for and by the keltoi,germanic,and Scandinavia. Brian Bates’ the real middle earth is a good start. Europe needs to see who they truly were, pre Rome. The problem will arise, as it did before over tribal ethnocentrism. Tolkiens phenomenal Lord of the rings illustrates a culture by indigenous Europeans with a language to match. Would it really be so hard to combine,Norse,German and gaelic?

      • Sick of it

        Why not just go with a gothic language since most Europeans are descended from the Goths? That includes Eastern Europeans.

        • Romulus

          The goths are but one famous tribe from germania. The deutch,thanes,hessian,prussian,rus,iceni,picts,saxons,samoi,vikings(scandinavian pirate),geats,welsh,angles are some of the other known tribes.

          • Sick of it

            The various gothic tribes have descendants from the British Isles (and Ireland) to the Black Sea.

  • The Final Solution

    Still waiting on that English translation of Germany Abolishes Itself. I’m sure it’s a matter of finding a publisher willing to publish it who isn’t a Jew.

    “Pessimism is a precondition of any real cultural or intellectual progress” Arbeit macht frei!

    • Romulus

      Hahahahaha. Interesting quote! Muster the rohirrim!! We ride to join the wehrmacht!

    • Pelagian

      I would buy it if it came out in English. And I havent bought 5 books in 5 years.

      • The Final Solution

        I bought a copy of it German just to have this mighty tome on my bookshelf.

    • Sick of it

      Have to agree with the quote. People who are satisfied with the way things work won’t ever change anything. Thus I think more people should be disappointed futurists…

    • KevinPhillipsBong

      Eleven years since Solzhenitsyn’s “200 Years Together” was published. The man was one of the finest minds of the 20th Century and we still cannot read the book in English. Tell me again about how YKW (You Know Who) doesn’t control the media.

  • Stentorian_Commentator

    Sarrazin probably realizes it, but for us English only speakers, Brit muslims have helpfully explained that the muslim welfare use is their interpretation of the jizya, the tax that the infidels must pay muslims to be allowed to retain their own religion under muslim domination. Another good reason to get them the bleep out of America and Europe.

    • me

      Islam has been a problem for Europeans since its creation….do the stupid ‘elites’ understand that they will NOT be spared once Muslims are the majority?

  • Spartacus

    “I don’t have to respect anybody who lives off of the state, who
    rejects the state, who doesn’t provide for the education of their kids,
    and who constantly produces new headscarf-girls.”

    If I ever decide to get a tatoo, this is what it’s gonna say ^

    • The Final Solution

      LOL would make a good t-shirt or bumper sticker too.

    • Romulus

      How about ALBUS DIABOLUS.

      • KevinPhillipsBong

        Very good – I’ll remember that one.

    • me

      That’s gonna be one HUGE, and righteous, tattoo! 🙂

    • Erasmus

      That would be a very useful phrase translated into Spanish.

  • The__Bobster

    The fact that he manage to survive the usual vilification in the guilt capital of Europe shows that there’s still hope for those of us who are courageous enough to speak out against the actions of the elites.

    • me

      Sarrazin is the only man in all of Western Europe that hasn’t been gelded by the ‘multicultural’ maniacs…..

  • Pelagian

    Lo and behold … something I didnt think possible. A modern-day German with cojones.

  • Romulus

    Mr Sykes books were well researched. I enjoyed them all, excepting Adams curse. I don’t believe the y chromosome will disappear ( I certainly hope not), particularly our males. Although Hannah Rosen and company are working hard to marginalize men. Perhaps she believes that humanity will continue without the manufacturers of sperm. For further review, read her article and /or book “the end of men”

  • Romulus

    Exactly what ,.. Pray tell, has been “positive” about foreign immigration.
    Just asking.

    • curri

      It’s a quotation-and positive only refers to the arithmetic.

      • Romulus

        Thank you!!!! Whew! I was a little confounded.

  • zanegray

    How did English become the national language in England given the small Anglo-Saxon input?

    Something doesn’t make sense here.

  • Come again? The words that English speakers use most often and most commonly are of Germanic origin. Latin teachers would love for us to think that Latin is the basis for English, and the crux of their argument is the Latin roots of a big majority of the words in the dictionary. The problem is, those words aren’t used that often, mainly by Indian (dot, not feather) kids in spelling bees.

  • David Ashton

    I am a Germanophile and have no objection to German patriotism, superb culture and exemplary industry. I deplore current hostility to Germans in Britain based on a concealed envy and an open rehash of WW2 propaganda. There was heroism on both sides as similar young men were thrown into combat for their respective homelands in a Bruderkrieg.

    In 1939 the problem was military. But personally I have been and remain in general agreement (not in every detail) with the position defended by (for example) Patrick Buchanan in his book on WW2.

    Today the revival of a tactless narrow German nationalism could not only provoke resentments but also endanger the part that the Germans should play in what the (now retitled) monthly “Nation Europa” called the European Revival.

    European solidarity is needed in face of non-European attacks from outside and within.

  • David Ashton

    A good book still is Simeon Potter’s “Our Language” – get a s/h copy if you can.

  • David Ashton

    Archaeology Professor Richard Bradley tells us (Times Literary Supplement, June 21, p.24): “The history of these [British] islands should never be investigated in isolation, and to do so is to be unduly influenced by the politics of modern nationalism… ‘The islanders have always been a mongrel race and we are stronger for it’.”

    (1) The English and other peoples in the UK are a successful blend of very closely related groups of white peoples of Europe.
    (2) The term “mongrel” is an adjective considered insulting if applied to non-whites (e.g. the Cape Coloured).
    (3) The British, German, French and other peoples of Europe are white, and they mostly (not entirely) speak related languages of Indo-Europen origin, the English language being a particularly versatile and flexible example.

    We need a unity of European patriotisms, and the extension of patriotism to neighbours; and the English in defending their own roots and identity should also recognise their “European” character. A true Englishman could well feel more at home in Berlin than in Brixton or Bradford today.

  • David Ashton

    The “EU” has been “progressively” in the hands of the wrong people, as indeed has the “UK”. European patriots of decent credentials need to reach out to one another and realise that their similarities are more important than their ancient quarrels. Easier said than done, but there is no alternative. In particular, we are facing the return of multi-racialist mob mass-rioting, especially among unemployed young men, in the aggravated crisis of finance-capitalism, by revolutionaries of the revived Left; and solidarity is a universal priority for us.