Radical right-wing German politician asks to count Jews in city

Councilman from The Right party also seeking data on which city districts Jews live in; local MP say questionnaire poses a ”blatant threat against Jewish people in Dortmund.”

A man wears a kippa.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
A man wears a kippa.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A radical right-wing city councilman in Dortmund filed a legislative questionnaire to the local government, seeking data on how many Jews live in the city.
The German daily Die Welt reported on Friday that Dennis Giemsch, from The Right party, asked in his questionnaire, “how many people of the Jewish faith are actually known in Dortmund?” He further asked in which city districts Jews lived.
According to Giemsch, the number of Jews living in Dortmund is relevant for The Right party.
Giemsch’s application is being examined by the city administration.
A spokesperson told Die Welt that his inquiry will be answered in the legal framework and “as spartanly as possible.” The spokesperson said Giemsch’s request was forwarded to the local agency to protect the constitution (Staatsschutz) – Germany’s equivalent of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). The Staatschutz will likely review the questionnaire to determine if it represents a threat to German democracy.
The west German city of Dortmund in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has a population of nearly 576,000.
Steffen Kanitz, a Christian Democratic Union party MP representing Dortmund, said that the questionnaire is a ”blatant threat against Jewish people in Dortmund.”
He called on the civil society in Dortmund to counter the The Right party, which he equated with the Nazis.
The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Dieter Graumann, said the questionnaire recalls the “worst times” in Germany’s history. He told the WAZ paper that Giemsch’s inquiry is “sickening and perfidious anti-Semitism.”
Graumann urged that The Right party be outlawed.