Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Saxony-Anhalt premier under fire for comparing police IDs to Jewish stars

Share this article

Saxony-Anhalt premier under fire for comparing police IDs to Jewish stars
Photo: DPA
10:30 CEST+02:00
Reiner Haseloff, the conservative state premier of Saxony-Anhalt, is facing fierce criticism after allegedly comparing forcing German police to wear name tags to how Jews had to display the Star of David under the Nazis.

“From the German history, I think a requirement to label people is simply intolerable and unacceptable,” the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday quoted him as saying on a radio programme earlier this week.

Haseloff, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right Christian Democratic Union, is a strong opponent of requiring uniformed police to wear name tags or identification numbers, something Berlin started requiring its officers to do this week in order to increase accountability.

In a statement, Haseloff denied he was talking about how Jews were labelled during the Third Reich, but instead was “speaking against the background of personal experiences in” communist East Germany. He has since refused to return phone calls from reporters seeking comment.

The remarks have prompted a furious reaction from Jewish groups and Haseloff's political opponents.

“Of course he meant the Nazi era,” Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany told the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. “He spoke nonsense.”

Sebastian Edathy, a Bundestag member with the centre-left Social Democratic party called Haseloff's remarks a “totally incomprehensible and absurd statement.”

Police identification requirements have been a controversial issue in the last few months with police unions and some officers arguing that name tags will make them and their families the targets of criminals.

But the city of Berlin has dismissed such concerns as overblown, seeing the police identification as a way to increase transparency and accountability in the force.

The Local/mdm

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?

Advertisement