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Banker's controversial remarks and new book whip up reader mail

High-profile German banker Thilo Sarrazin made headlines with some controversial remarks about ethnicity. Our readers leapt at the chance to both support and denounce him, or at least defend his right to free speech.

German Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin presents his new book on Monday

Sarrazin's recent comments led to calls for his resignation

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and clarity.

What happened to free speech? Every time comments are made that some members of the public find 'not to their liking' they scream bloody murder. - A lbert , Canada

Immigration and integration issues need to be discussed openly. Europe's populations are concerned while politicians are in denial. Here's someone voicing what a lot of people think and it's hard to see how sacking Sarrazin could be justified - unless politicians are again bowing to this most damaging of ideologies - political correctness. Let's not adopt the Islamic habit of issuing a fatwa against anyone who's exercising his right of freedom of speech - especially when his comments concern us all. -- Brigitte, France

Mr. Sarrazin has limited himself to stating facts and to presenting his personal interpretation of those facts. Why in the world would a democratic society forbid this? Nay-sayers are welcome to dispute his analysis and explain that his concerns on Muslim integration are just pipe dreams. -- Equivocation, Mexico

Taboos are not the stuff healthy modern societies are made of. Taboos by definition imply that people cannot deal with reality. You cannot manage a healthy modern society using taboos. The best approach is to ask Herr Sarrazin to substantiate and prove his assertions or to retract them. He will understand that response. -- Gerhard, Canada

Comments on Sarrazin's references to a 'Jewish gene'

The truth has to be told: Germany has been infected, a lot of times, with anti-Semitism. But this time - Sarrazin only said the plain truth, the simple facts, and no one should be against him. What did he say? That Jews are a nation with blood (genetic) connection? Not only is that true according to the Jewish tradition, it has also received a huge encouragement from the science field - recent research published not long ago showed that all the Jews are connected by similar mutations, a thing that makes them closer to each other more than to any other nation. So what's wrong with saying that? And here is the point I must emphasize: I am an Israeli woman, Jewish, ultra-orthodox. My grandfather's grandfather was a rabbi in Mannheim, until 1935 when he had to leave because of the Nazis. Our family suffered massive losses during World War II. And still, I don't think that everybody that says something about the Jewish nationality has to be criticized, because this man is correct. -- Tzippy, Israel

Maybe it's Germans who have a "certain gene" Hmm? – J.L., US

Responses to Sarrazin's comments on the 'undermining' of German society by Muslims

It is the next generation of Muslims "running fruit and vegetable stands" upon whom Germany depends upon to expand the economy. Remember, Margaret Thatcher was the daughter of a greengrocer. -- Stanley, US

I fully support Mr. Sarrazin's opinion. He says what most of us think. I will buy his book and recommend it. I flew away from France because it became a Muslim state. I wish France had someone like Mr. Sarrazin to tell the truth out loud. Germany is lucky to have Mr. Sarrazin. -- Charles, France

I am 100 percent convinced that what Mr. Sarrazin has said publicly, millions of Germans and other EU citizens have been sharing alike secretly at the family table. At least until now. We can see it when looking at many examples such as Switzerland (minarets' case) or France (gypsies' case), Spain and Italy (African immigrants), etc. Something must be done about the influx of immigrants especially outside the EU, who do not have European roots, do not share European culture and ideas of democracy, etc. … Otherwise xenophobia or wide public rebellions and riots in the worst scenario will release the power of opinions smoldering today in the minds of EU citizens and expressed by more influential individuals publicly like the Dutch politician Geert Wilders and now Sarrazin. – Stanislav, Slovakia

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Kristin Zeier

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