BERLIN – Popular Die Welt columnist Henryk M. Broder launched a piercing attack on Tuesday against Jakob Augstein, owner and editor of the Der Freitag weekly, for spreading Nazi-style anti-Semitism on Spiegel Online, the website of the Der Spiegel magazine, where Augstein blogs.

Writing in his own blog, Die Achse des Guten (The Axis of Good), Broder, regarded as Germany’s leading expert on contemporary anti-Semitism, said: “A few days ago, I wrote here that the editor of Freitag, Jakob Augstein, was a ‘salon anti- Semite.’ Now I have to correct myself. Jakob Augstein is not a salon anti-Semite, he’s a pure anti-Semite, an anti-Semitic piece of work, an offender by conviction who only missed the opportunity to make his career with the Gestapo because he was born after the war. He certainly would have had what it takes.”

In his Monday Spiegel Online blog article, titled “To whose advantage is the violence?,” Augstein wrote: “Fires are burning in Libya, Sudan, Yemen, all countries that are among the poorest in the world. But the arsonists are elsewhere. The furious young men burning American, and now also German, flags are just as much victims as the dead in Benghazi and Sanaa. Who profits from this violence? Only the crazies and the unscrupulous. And this time also – as if incidentally – the American Republicans and the Israeli government.”

Broder, who has testified as an expert in the Bundestag about German anti-Semitism, wrote on his blog that Augstein’s text showed a “classical anti-Semitic model” that connects the Nazis and neo-Nazis who argue that “the Zionists cooperated with the Nazis and accepted the death of millions of Jews in order to establish their state.”

Broder added that this was the logic behind Augstein’s article and that he was a “little Streicher,” referring to Julius Streicher, the raging anti-Semitic editor of the Nazi-era publication Der Stürmer.

According to observers of German-Israeli relations, Augstein has gone to great lengths to stoke hostility against the Jewish state. He passionately defended writer Günter Grass’s poem that blamed Israel as being the main impediment to world peace, although the majority of German journalists slammed Grass for his biases against Israel and his pro-Iran position.

In a telephone conversation with The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Broder said commentaries in Der Freitag, Augstein’s weekly, were packed full of comments supporting anti- Semitism.

Writing in his blog, Broder taunted Augstein to file a legal suit against him. Augstein told the Berliner Zeitung on Tuesday that he would not sue, saying, “I very much value and respect Henryk M. Broder, also in his errors.”

Broder responded that Augstein had “wimped out.”

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