• Germany's news in English

Sarrazin's Jewish 'gene' comments spark outrage

DDP/The Local · 29 Aug 2010, 12:22

Published: 29 Aug 2010 12:22 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"All Jews share a certain gene; Basques have certain genes that differentiate them from others," Sarrazin told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Sarrazin's interview sought to clarify controversial statements about foreigners from his forthcoming book, seen by many as inflammatory and xenophobic. Though the Bundesbank official rose to his own defence, saying, "I am not a racist," he also added fuel to the fire in responding to the question on "genetic identity."

Speaking to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Sarrazin had gone too far: "Comments that foster racism or anti-Semitism have no place in political discourse," he said.

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg also condemned Sarrazin's statement, saying, "Every provocation has its limits."

"Bundesbank board member Sarrazin has clearly crossed this line," he said.

In a guest contribution for the paper, the former vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Michel Friedman, insisted there could be "no more tolerance for this intolerance."

Story continues below…

"We need bridge-builders, not people who preach hate, much less on the board of the German Bundesbank," he wrote.

Sarrazin's remarks have prompted a heated backlash from his fellow Social Democrats, and the chorus of voices demanding his dismissal from the party is growing.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:50 August 29, 2010 by dcgi
He sounds like he carries the A55-h0-L3 gene
13:26 August 29, 2010 by whatzup
We need bridge builders, not people who speak the truth. Germany should not feel self conscious about fools like Sarrazin. The US has little tolerance for the truth as well.
14:14 August 29, 2010 by heini
It will be quite some time, if ever, before any German or Austrian can mention the Jews and expect people to have an amnesia about what was done in the last century.
14:20 August 29, 2010 by Eastard
It appears that people all over the world are increasingly sensitive to what their own bias infers from public comments... If they are Jewish, and anyone says anything about Jews who is not Jewish ... they are labeled intolerable bigots... unrelated to the text of their comments... This is concerning because the intolerance is not the speaker it is the "special" listeners who are not comfortable with their own beliefs... They now want everyone to either believe as they do or never speak... I for one think folks should speak their mind and let the listeners debate the context of their message.... not add to it an agenda...
14:26 August 29, 2010 by Ehrler
He said different people were different?! BLASPHEMY!!!!
14:53 August 29, 2010 by catjones
It's not like this clown is just some guy on the street, he represents the German federal bank and therefore has the attention of the press. He knows exactly what he's doing.
16:39 August 29, 2010 by LMFAO
Why exactly does this dick still have a job?
16:49 August 29, 2010 by greattoucan
Jewish people inherit certain genes? OK. Better genes? Mmmm, I think any German would be quick to condemn this one, and nobody should criticize such condemnation, at least in Germany, or the remaining 99.99% of the world that is not Israel. Such a comment itself is a Nazi comment, and Hitler would be perfectly comfortable with it IF it related to Germans instead of Jews. Israelis do not get the point, nor the fact that the rest of the world views them more and more as the Jewish counterparts of the Nazis. LEGAL immigrant workers were deported from Israel recently because " they detracted from that nation's Jewishness." How can such policies NOT be labelled racist. Do such policies come out of these "Jewish genes?" Just below this comment box is an advertisement concerning conversion to Judaism through study over the internet. There is nothing genetic about that!

The truth is that all of the human race inherits genes, 99 % of which are identical. People should be concerned about protecting this set of genes instead of stigmatizing or worshipping the insignificantly small remainder.

I think it is counterproductive to have laws against stupidity or stupid comments. Free speech of any kind is helpful at certain points. When it arrives at a point where it takes away the free speech rights or human rights of others, then it has gone too far.
17:07 August 29, 2010 by grunkol
OK this guy's wider views offend me, however, check this out:

"Jewish communities in Europe and the Middle East share many genes inherited from the ancestral Jewish population that lived in the Middle East some 3,000 years ago, even though each community also carries genes from other sources - usually the country in which it lives.

That is the conclusion of two new genetic surveys, the first to use genome-wide scanning devices to compare many Jewish communities around the world."

17:33 August 29, 2010 by chrishale53
Come on morons - there is no such thing as a 'Jewish gene' or for that matter an Aryan gene or a German gene. Populations genetics examines variations in specific genes which are more or less common in specific populations. These variations do not contribute to the human attributes that racists like Sarrazin are so obsessed with. In some rare cases, isolated human groups accumulate genetic mutations that can result in higher incidence of particular diseases. But this is rare. Why did this obnoxious reactionary - who seems to get high approval ratings if you listen to German radio - mention genetics and Jews int he same malodorous breath??
18:11 August 29, 2010 by mhdamro
He have been talking about the Arabs for months now .. no one cared .. but as soon as he started to talk about the HOLY Jews .. the clock stopped ticking .... they say that the german government doesnt tolerate Anti Semitic views.... FYI .. ARAB's are Semite too .. just like the jews ... so being Anti Arab is being Anti Semite tooo ........ guess they didnt figure that out .........
18:52 August 29, 2010 by CPT/USA
Is there a genetic predisposition to be Jewish or Muslim or Christian?
19:44 August 29, 2010 by tforeman
@whatzup: "We need bridge builders, not people who speak the truth."

Uh, what am I missing here?

Bridges can only be built on truth. Otherwise it's a lie and surely will crumble.

Whether or not there's a "Jewish" gene is something that can be determined scientifically, so there's no point in speculating. But what does it matter? The whole human race is one looped spectrum, and we are all related to each other.
19:46 August 29, 2010 by raayuno

thats exactly my thought. I'm sick and tried of this bullcrap. How could you ask arabs to integrate in a society so tolerable of racist populists like this douche who consistently degrade certain groups of minorities? He only bad when he hates teh jooo. Arabs?who cares, right? enjoy another 20 years of social dysfunctionality.
19:48 August 29, 2010 by el3ktro
Why this outrage? He's absolutely right! A vast majority of all Jews indeed share the same group of genes, since the Jews have ever since been a very closed group. Jews far more often marry other Jews then they marry non-Jews, which leads to a more and more homogeneous genetic pool. This is not racist, this is simply true. The same applies for the Basques in Spain and many other groups of people who tend to marry within their own group.

If any of you want to know if you have Jewish ancestor, go to this site, pay 99€, and you'll know: http://www.igenea.com/genealogie-dna-juden-judentum-ahnenforschung-40.htm.

Funny that on this site, you can find links to many German newspapers who have an article about this fact that Jews, or just ANY group of people for that matter, share common genes. Yet the same newspaper now create this outrage about what Sarrazin has said.

And for Sarrazin being antisemitic or anti-jewish, here two quotes from him:

"The holocaust was a cultural, intellectual and scientific blood-letting for Germany. With the holocaust, Germany has lost many of it's cultural, scientific and intellectual elite."

"Just as the Muslims 'conquered' the Kosovo with higher birth rates, they're 'conquering' Germany right now. I wouldn't mind at all if the Jews would 'conquer' Germany like that, because they're intelligent and smart people."
20:17 August 29, 2010 by vonSchwerin
catjones is right. Sarrazin is not so beer-swilling, uneducated NPD rowdy. He had to know what kind of reaction he comments would foment. He had to know exactly what he was doing.

The bigger question is why. Why does he feel the need to make these comments? Why now?

Surely, he realizes that he is going to lose his political position and authority. So, what is the real reason he wants to express these sentiments now, in this way, so publicly?
20:39 August 29, 2010 by el3ktro
He does not have a political position. And until now, all that I've read attacks him personally, I've yet to see an article or statement actually proving that he is wrong with what he says.
20:50 August 29, 2010 by raayuno
"He does not have a political position. And until now, all that I've read attacks him personally, I've yet to see an article or statement actually proving that he is wrong with what he says.


So you agree with him that arabs and turks are dumber than "ethnic Germans"(whatever that is)?
21:06 August 29, 2010 by nepo77
Of course there is gene code that defines Germanic, Celtic, Asian ect.. and Jewish people. The Jews theme self say that with pride. Benjamin Netanajuh said it. Duh. Its about code combination not the gene quantity difference between people. The difference from a human to a maggot is only 2 %. Geneticists all over the world categorize people this way for years now. My Brother is a Bio Engineer,he laughs at the we are all the same political correct BS. Does that make them racist? No scientists. Just because Nazis were on to something doesn't mean it was scientifically wrong. Black Basketball Players in the US -awesome high topping jumping machines because slave traders selected strong big people from Africa as they were better workers. Duh Duh Duh. Stop being so ignorant and accept difference within the human species and that those differences form a society as well as cultural and educational differences. Tolerance isnt the false belief that were the same -its the celebration of our differences. So let the Germans be engineers and Africans farmers instead of throwing them 100 $ Laptops from helicopters and this world will actually find a balance and symbioses in peace and without poverty. The social engineering scheme of the past 60 years is a catastrophy and its ending now.
21:11 August 29, 2010 by MichaelMolenaar
I love it when people say that humans share 98% of DNA with each other. A single allele mutation codes for blue eyes, and the same principle applies to every single physical feature.

Just like animals, humans slowly evolve into different genetic populations that instinctively will fight for the greater group, because they share the same genetics.

Sarrazin is correct. May he live to see the day when science triumphs over the nativity of the past.
21:22 August 29, 2010 by William Thirteen
unfortunately Sarrazin knows exactly what he is doing, and he is concerned with one thing only - the size of his bank account. He knows his swill will sell books simply on the basis of the controversy they've engendered. If he was actually concerned about immigration and its effect he should re-enter politics, but he would rather just shout out his racist diatribe from the sidelines. At this point, if he remains at the Bundesbank one would have to assume they support his statements or are powerless to get rid of him. Sad....
21:22 August 29, 2010 by el3ktro
@raayuno: He never said that. He said "immigrants from Turkey and Arab countries make Germany dumber, because they have less education". He didn't say they're dumber, he said they have less education. That's a difference!

Well, but a few numbers for you:

Teenagers in Germany with university qualification: 40%

Turk+Arab teenagers in Germany with university qualification: 14%

Vietnamese teenagers in Germany with university qualification: 70%

Sorry, but when I look at these numbers, I do ask myself "why is that?"

Or some other numbers:

Percentage of Jews among world population: 0.002%

Numbers of Nobel prizes for Jewish scientists: 119

Percentage of Muslims among world population: 20%

Numbers of Nobel prizes for Muslim scientists: 8

There are TENTHOUSAND times more Muslims than Jews, yet Jews have 15 times more Nobel prizes!

This doesn't mean that Muslims are dumber, but it clearly shows that Muslims just don't care about education that much, and for a country who's only really "natural resource" is the brain power of it's people, a massive immigration of so many uneducated people is fatal! This is what it's all about, and I agree with him completely.

And just to make one thing clear: When I say Muslims, I don't mean ALL Muslims, of course there are many Muslims who are well educated and everything, but it's just annoying when one has to write "the majority of all Muslims" or "a certain percentage of Muslims" all the time.
21:39 August 29, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Having read all this, it may well be more sensationalist media at work.
21:52 August 29, 2010 by raayuno
Why are you bringing up muslims into this? You're confusing muslims with arabs (and turks). A religion and an ethnicity are 2 different things. Besides, it would be more professional of you if you could include a link to support your statement about the numbers you've mentioned.

That being said, I, as an atheist, believe that religion hinders the mental progress of human beings in General, and that people who excel in Science are almost certainly those least religious.

Einstein for example was hardly a jew. He was of jewish heritage, to put it more accurately. For many, however, he still counts as a jew. Jews see themselves as a race, muslims DON'T. John Stuart (just an example) is a jew because some female ancestor of his used to practice Judaism. He does not go to his temple, he does not believe in 99% of whats written in his Torah, but he still sees himself as a jew.

So yes, your numbers are flawed, it has nothing to do with jewish/muslim or not, it has a lot more to do with religious or not, among others

Here's a question for you: How come there is no Arab/persian/Ethiopian/Indian jews (or of any sub ethnicity other than European/white) on your Nobel list?

I'll tell you why, its because Nobel Prizes is an invention of the last 100 years.

For various reasons, different civilizations have its moments in different times. Had it been there in the 1200s, we would've prolly been talking in reverse.
23:43 August 29, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, actually it's absolutely essential that humans be different. We just need to learn how to develop positive feelings about ourselves. If all 6.8 billion of us were to develop high self-esteem, then we would finally have the brilliant world that was meant for us.
02:23 August 30, 2010 by elke77
Sarrazin is right in what he says about the gene. But he is a heretic because political correctness demands the lie "we are all the same" lie be maintained.

Pseudo religious nonsense. Sarrazin is right to speak out, Germany has not benefited from this politically correct ideology.
02:32 August 30, 2010 by bmck
Wonder if he meant the "real Jews" whom are Ethophians and not European Jewry???
03:33 August 30, 2010 by Gretl
I guess we should tell Spencer Wells that his efforts are in vain.

05:49 August 30, 2010 by vonSchwerin
@ el3ktro

"There are TENTHOUSAND times more Muslims than Jews, yet Jews have 15 times more Nobel prizes!

This doesn't mean that Muslims are dumber, but it clearly shows that Muslims just don't care about education that much, and for a country who's only really "natural resource" is the brain power of it's people, a massive immigration of so many uneducated people is fatal! This is what it's all about, and I agree with him completely."

So . . . should Germany be encouraging more Jewish immigrants?

Just curious.
08:07 August 30, 2010 by William Thirteen
comment threads like this one are wonderful for revealing the crypto-racists and scientifically challenged among the Local's readership.
08:57 August 30, 2010 by el3ktro
@vonSchwerin: Germany should have more well-educated immigrants. People that benefit the country (and thus themselves) rather than stress our welfare system.

All I'm saying is that the likelihood of a Jewish immigrant to be well-educated is much higher than that of a Muslim immigrant, and all numbers back that up.

So yes, I'd rather have more Jewish immigrants. Or Asians. Or East Europeans. Or Indians, or EU citizens. Or anybody who has proven in the last decades that he can integrate well, benefit the country, take care of their and their children's education and that he accepts and is willing to live our values and lifestyle. All immigration groups have no problem with that - except the Muslims. That's a fact everybody can see who lives in a multicultural city like Cologne.

Of course there are exceptions - Muslims who do integrate well (strange enough it's more often the secular ones, and they are more than welcome to me) and other immigrants who don't integrate well. But on the large scale, the picture is clear: Muslims very often have problems integrating into western societies. This is a fact that western societies will have to deal with, and it doesn't help to constantly deny this problem.
10:48 August 30, 2010 by Michael Woodbridge
Until we lay the ghosts of the past Europe will continue to decline into materialism and disarray. The time is long overdue when we should rekindle to the positive aspects of our civilization by taking a pride in our identity and move forward with confidence.
12:48 August 30, 2010 by el3ktro
@Lorelei: His comments about the "Jewish gene" are not in his book, it was just an answer to a rather stupid question by a journalist. I've read many interviews, and it was so obvious in all of them how the interviewer tried to push Sarrazin into making a racist comment, like Die Welt several times asked him "why don't you like Muslims?", although he never said that he didn't like Muslims in the first place.
12:50 August 30, 2010 by concerned4u
Sarrazin should be treated by the team of "Inglorious Basterds", he he.
14:16 August 30, 2010 by el3ktro
" So I'm equally skeptic about the "Jewish gene". I think it has been found that Jewish people from all over the world share some identical genes, but where does it say that these genes define intellectual abilities?"

Sarrazin has never said that the "Jewish gene" defines intellectual abilities, he simply said that most Jews share a group of genes, and this is scientifically correct.
16:59 August 30, 2010 by Beachrider
OK, more of this stuff...

Attempting to identify some gene-sequence as 'Jewish' is simply grandstanding. Although Jews sometimes identify themselves as a tribe, they clearly have intermarried and converted non-genetic folks as Jews. Others have departed the traditional-ways and have brought up their children in completely different traditions.

In short, there is a strong aspect of choice in someone being Jewish. Since you cannot choose your own genes, any relationship between gene-sequences and a person's religious traditions is clearly a matter of chance and is not scientific.

Please move on.
17:37 August 30, 2010 by raayuno
"Thanks RainyDays. Having read it I think the Jews/Basque thing was just an offhand comment and I don't think it was meant maliciously. He spends most of his time on the deleterious effect of Muslim migration on Deutschland AG which I think you can sum up as:

America gets all the "good" immigrants (China, India, Vietnam)

Germany gets the "bad" ones (Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan)from places with poor education systems

Islamic culture hinders integration and to an extent, educational achievement

Pace of modern immigration does not allow for melting pot/absorption, hence :

Growing pool of nonintegrated foreign underachievers mixed with low German birthrates =

Dumbing down of Deutschland."

1-This is bullcrap, for two reasons:

1-Ofiicially there are no migration to Germany anymore since the guest workers program ended. I've been living here for 3 years and all the new foreigners I have met are either students, who come from the whole world by the way and not just from evil muslim countries, and asylum seekers who mainly come from Iraq.

2-There are well educated people in the countries put down in the "bad" list, the government simply won't let them in BECAUSE it wants to maintain 1.

So yes, Merkel wants to eat her cake and have it at the same time.

This guy ostensibly seems to be saiyng the truth, but what he's doing is blaming the minorities when in fact, it all has been caused by major mistakes done by the government.
17:28 August 31, 2010 by Manfredd
Different people have different combinations of genes.

We usually talk of "genomes", "genomic fund" and "genomic configuration".

A banker would use the word "genes".

Mister Sarrazin mentioned "special genes" of Jewish people as a mark

of their quality as scientists. engineers, bankers etc.

This quality is well-known in many countries.

A German banker mentioned this well-known fact. Far from being "Anti",

the mentioning of this fact is an expression of __Pro-Semitism__.

Mr.Sarazin values the reliability of Jewish people, their ability to learn

and to work and to enrich the country of their residence.

Instead of applauding and conferring their gratitude on Mr.Sarrazin,

some German politicians hurry to condemn him.

Have they read the inteview????

As far as I know, they are re-repeating what has been inferred by their

staff personnel.

To read through a paragraph in an article and to understand what has been said

is too strenuous for them. This arduous work is too much of a mental activity.

Logical thinking is not their forte.

They have been taught to react to the word "Jewish" in a certain manner -

quite regardless of the context.

For example -- upon reading the remark

"Jewish physicists are on the average better than the rest"

the German political staff personnel would classsify it as "anti-semitic".

The next day this evaluation would be repeated and re-repeated by some German politicians.

Mr.Sarrazin endeavoured to think and to express his opinion.

Down and away with him !

Manfred Lutz (Germany)
22:48 August 31, 2010 by BR549
If I had a "jew gene" then maybe I would be smart enough to make a logical comment on this article. Since I have no such luck, then I will humbly sit out this ridiculous debate.....
Today's headlines
Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd