Nazi Comparison Stirs Opposition′s Ire | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 13.07.2005
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Nazi Comparison Stirs Opposition's Ire

A prominent member of the Social Democrats has likened a phrase in the opposition Christian Democrats' election platform to a notorious Nazi slogan, drawing widespread condemnation. Ludwig Stiegler, the SPD's deputy leader in parliament, said the CDU's appeal to create work reminded him of "Arbeit macht frei" (Work sets you free), the phrase that was written above the gates at Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. The CDU's slogan was "What creates work is good for society." Stiegler's comments drew angry responses from the CDU and its sister party in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union. "Someone who speaks out in such a repellent way 60 years after the freeing of the death camps rules themselves out of any political leadership task," CDU Secretary General Volker Kauder said in a statement. Recently, left-wing party leader Oskar Lafontaine sparked controversy by using the Nazi-tainted term "Fremdarbeiter" (foreign workers) in a speech on labor policy.

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