Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab (Germany abolishes itself) is the name of a gloomy state-of-the- homeland analysis by banker and politician Thilo Sarrazin. Or rather by ex-banker Thilo Sarrazin, since he was removed from his banking position at the instigation of colleagues, who felt that getting him sacked would further tolerance in Germany. (His party, the Social Democrats, fearful of reputational damage, merely subjected him to an investigation, without taking action). There’s been a fair bit of hate mail too.
Sarrazin was vilified on a number of counts. His main argument was that mass immigration has brought few or no benefits to Germany, and will probably lead to the extinction of the German identity. Nowadays, this is widely seen as likely, but eight years ago, when the book was first published, it was shocking. Remember, the million-man invasion of 2015 had not happened then. But the book was at the same time a critique of the German welfare state, which is every bit as wasteful and destructive as ours, and of the loss of traditional values. He is also big on the link between IQ and race. He believes some poor have only themselves to blame. And he is no fan of childless German women.
All of this went down like a Masskrug of cold sick with the self-hating, victim-worshipping, halo-polishing cretins that hold power in Germany now. Of course, everything he says is objectively stated and scrupulously researched—he was after all a high-level bureaucrat, and was paid to get stuff right. I’m not surprised the book has never been translated into English. It’s too hard-hitting and meaningful for most UK publishers to want to spread his message. But it is one of the most important books published in Europe over the past decade.
I must apologise for the clunky format. I don’t want to analyse Sarrazin. I just want to give English-speakers a little exposure to his ideas and observations. So this series of articles is basically a string of representative quotes from the book, sellotaped together by theme. I have not fine-tuned every word of these translations, so while I am confident of their accuracy, any use of the quotes remains at your own risk. All text in italics is Sarrazin. Consult the original if in doubt: Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2015 edition.
To business. The main theme of Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab is immigration. Sarrazin discusses it comprehensively, starting with the earliest arrivals:
From the end of the 1950s to 1973, (when recruitment ended) the Federal Republic brought over millions of “guest workers” to Germany. .. In 1973, their total was around 2.6 million. Of the 750,000 or so Turks who were recruited up to 1973, most remained in Germany and brought their families over. Today around 3 million people of Turkish background live in Germany. (He argues later that the real figure could be much higher, due to the unreliability of data.) Their proportion of births is twice as high as their proportion of the population, and continues to grow.
Sarrazin draws a distinction between migrant workers in the 1960s and 1970s and later arrivals. The earlier wave were people who hit the road to create prosperity with the work of their own hands. But with the migrants of the 1980s and 1990s, it was different. For them, there was a promised land, Germany, where you could grow richer without working, richer than you could ever manage in the home village. .. The Turkish middle classes in Neukölln (Berlin’s main Turkish quarter) come from that generation. .. These families do not cause problems, and you do not see them on the streets either. Page 301
Nevertheless, Sarrazin argues, in retrospect, even the immigration of guest workers in the 1960s and 1970s was a gigantic mistake: to a large extent, the workers were deployed in industries which were dying. Today, things are considerably worse. Given that Germany’s generous welfare system now ensures that all citizens get around 60% of the average wage, whether or not they work, it is worth it for the incompetent and the lazy to emigrate to Germany, if only the homeland is poor enough. Page 371
Sarrazin is not hostile to all immigration. Much less well-known than the Turks and other “southerners” were the nearly 4 million German settlers from the former Soviet Union, the Aussiedler. After teething problems, they made very good integration progress, and their performance within the education system is better than average. The same is true for other migrants coming to Germany from East European countries. For the job market and for the education system, they are indeed an enrichment. Page 259
But overall, the message is clear: If current trends continue, Germany will be changed beyond recognition … and the great cities of Germany, and perhaps the whole country in a few generations, will be inhabited by majorities of Turkish, Arab and African origin.
These assertions are backed up by a battery of statistics. The bold-facing is mine:
The high birth-rate of all migrant groups leads to a sharp shift of proportion of population by age: approximately 10% of those aged 65 today have migration background, the figure is 17% for those in their 40s and already 40% for young mothers. Overall in the population, the number of those who have a migration background lies at 17%, and is already at 30% in the under 15 group. (‘Migration background’ in Germany means one or both parents were born overseas) … According to the micro-census of 2007, there were 15.4 million people of migration background in Germany.
In Berlin, 33% of school beginners are of non-German origin. ..40% of young women giving birth are nowadays of migration background, and one-third of these are women of the Near and Middle Eastern and African origin. These women account for 6.5% of women between 15 and 35, but account for 13.5% of births in this group.
As mentioned above, Sarrazin warns that the stats probably understate the real numbers. There is much deception: in the dispatch of income tax cards [Lohnsteuerkarte], 10,000 false addresses were uncovered in Neukölln. Just for a single one-room flat in Cologne, 60 addresses were used. Under current registration rules anybody can give any address, without fear of being checked. Page 302
His conclusion, which is repeated throughout the book, is stark:
If the birth-rate of migrants remains consistently higher than that of the indigenous population, in the course of a few generations, state and society will be taken over by the migrants.
For this, he lays most blame on the welfare system.
Without the basic (social) insurance [Grundsicherung], a large number of migrants from Turkey, Africa and the Near East would never have come, because there have been no job market-based incentives for immigration for 35 years. Without the basic insurance, dependent migration would also be smaller and Germany as an asylum destination only half so attractive. Without the basic insurance, Turks and Arabs at least would have displayed a different generational behaviour. In particular, among Arabs in Germany, the tendency is widespread to have children in order to get more social benefits, and the women, who are often locked away in the family, basically have little else to do.
Sarrazin refrains from polemic, but leaves a scattering of carefully worded protests throughout the text.
In 100 years, I want my great-grandchildren to be able to live in Germany, if that’s what they want. I do not want to see the country of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren becoming Islamic over wide areas, with Turkish and Arabic spoken over wide areas, women in headscarves and daily rhythms set by the call of the muezzin. If I want to experience that, I can take a holiday trip to the Orient. Page 308
Joe Slater 2018