Daily Israel Report

German Finance Expert Accuses Merkel of 'Holocaust Guilt'

Former German Bundesbank member Thilo Sarrazin claims in new book that Merkel’s European policy is motivated by guilt for the Holocaust.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/22/2012, 5:15 AM

Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Reuters

Former German Bundesbank member Thilo Sarrazin 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.

In 2010, Sarrazin caused outrage with his best-selling book which argued that Germany was being swamped with illiterate, semi-criminal Muslim immigrants.

The British Independent reported on Monday that 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 book called “Europe doesn’t need the Euro”.

In the book, according to the report, 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 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 on Tuesday, Sarrazin argues that 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.

The Independent reported that Sarrazin’s theories were given a first test on Sunday, when he appeared on the German ARD network’s prime time evening talk show and discussed his new book with Peer Steinbrück, a former Social Democrat finance minister.

During the show, the report said, Steinbrück accused his discussion partner of overlooking the many advantages that the euro had brought to Germany and dismissed his Holocaust claims as “historical amnesia.”

Steinbrück described Sarrazin’s 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.