Politician from Social Democratic Party in Germany withdraws anti-Semitic video

Sabine Wölfle, a German Social Democratic politician posted a crude anti-Semitic conspiracy video about the Rothschild family on her Facebook page.

A logo of Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild (photo credit: REUTERS)
A logo of Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BERLIN – In response to growing criticism of her Facebook posting of a crude anti-Semitic conspiracy video about the Rothschild family, Sabine Wölfle, a German Social Democratic politician, shut down her Facebook page on Thursday.
The working circle of Jewish Social Democrats on Wednesday blasted Wölfle for disseminating a video portraying the Jewish Rothschild family as controlling the world’s finances.
“This morning we became aware that the SPD regional politician Sabine Wölfle posted an anti-Semitic and conspiratorial video on her Facebook page,” the working circle stated.
“We are shocked that a regional politician lacks basic knowledge about the connotations of conspiracy theories, in which the frequently mentioned, all-encompassing, financial power of the Rothschild family stands at the center. We demand a clear apology for the spreading of anti-Semitic propaganda.”
Wölfle serves as a member of parliament for the Social Democrats in the government of the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg.
German anti-Semites have long depicted the Rothschilds as a nefarious family determined to control the world. Nazi Germany produced a 1940 film tiled The Rothschilds showing the Jewish Rothschild family as a lethal threat to Germany. The conclusion of the film shows a burning Star of David over a map of England, suggesting that the Jews controlled the United Kingdom in its war against Nazi Germany.
The alleged anti-Semitic video posted by Wölfle is titled The Power of the Rothschilds. The video, which was viewed by The Jerusalem Post, claims the family dominates the financial capital London and “controls the media.” The narrator says the Rothschilds are responsible for the “mass murders of millions.”
The working circle of Jewish Social Democrats added that the Social Democratic Party should address the history and genesis of anti-Semitism.
“Only she [Wölfle] can credibly represent a party that delivers a clear rejection of anti-Semitism as the ‘Socialism of Fools.’” The phrase “Socialism of Fools” was coined as a pejorative term in the 19th century to criticize German leftists and social democrats who stoked anti-Semitism in the name of advancing socialism.
Prior to closing down her Facebook page in response to the outrage it caused, Wölfle wrote, “the part of the video regarding the businesses of the Rothschilds caused irritation and offense. I was interested in the criticism of the financial sector and not the religious background of the family. That the video has an anti-Semitic background was made clear to me later.”
She said she failed to carefully examine the video and should not have spread it, adding, “I condemn anti-Semitism and I apologize to those whose feeling were hurt.”
Wölfle stressed on her SPD website that she is not anti-Semitic. She previously sought, in 2010, to block Claude Lanzmann’s 1973 pro-Israel film titled Israel, Why, because it did not present the Palestinian viewpoint.
Fabian Weißbarth, the public affairs coordinator for the AJC Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish relations, told the Post that, ”Unfortunately, this is not the first instance of anti-Semitism in the SPD. For a parliamentarian to have shared a video which taps into anti-Semitic conspiracies warrants a decisive response from the party. This type of libel is inexcusable, especially in light of the recent upsurge of anti-Semitism in Europe.
“Anti-Semitic stereotypes,” he added, “like those played on in the video, fuel the outward expression of anti-Semitism, legitimizing the sentiments and violence we witnessed this summer. The fact that Wölfle herself was ostensibly unaware of the video’s anti-Semitic character, that Jews are still believed to control politics and economics and are thereby perceived as scapegoats for all that is wrong in the world, shows how urgently political action is needed to combat anti-Semitism.
“In facing the significant challenges posed by such deeply embedded anti-Semitism, solidarity rallies are simply insufficient if not accompanied by pointed educational and political measures designed to counter all forms of anti-Semitic expressions at their roots.”
The Social Democrats have been engulfed in a series of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel scandals throughout September. The local chapter of the SPD in the city of Hagen posted Facebook entries alleging Zionists control the media in Germany.
The head of the German-Israel friendship society, Reinhold Robbe, blasted Rainer Arnold, the SPD’s defense and security spokesman, for equating Israel with Hamas. In an email to the Post on Thursday, Rainer Arnold rejected the allegation that he compared Israel with Hamas, saying he “values Israel as a democratic State” and sees Israel as an “important ally in the region.”
He asserted that he “stands behind Israel’s right to a secure existence and to its self-defense. But it must be possible among friends to criticize and discuss some aspects of the actual political actions.”