JLH has translated an interview with Thilo Sarrazin that was published in Germany last month. The translator includes this introductory note:
Thilo Sarrazin (SPD) is a former member of the executive board of the Bundesbank, previously senator of finance for Berlin, and was removed from all these affiliations after publication of his book Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Is Abolishing Itself), which was followed by Europa braucht den Euro nicht (Europe Does Not Need The Euro).
He may be less than well informed about the US-Mexican border, but he is admirably steadfast in concentrating on the good of his own people, and not being distracted by the bleeding heart-arguments from the reporters.
The translated interview from Die Zeit:
Thilo Sarrazin: “You Are Welcome to Ask Me What I Would Do if I Were Head of Frontex”
Interview with Thilo Sarrazin by Tina Hildebrandt and Heinrich Wefing
September 13, 2015
Die Zeit: Mr. Sarrazin, what thoughts go through your mind when you see pictures of refugees in Europe?
Thilo Sarrazin: I do not see these pictures because I watch absolutely no news. The image of a person in dire straits is always bad — whether in Cambodia or on a Sooth Sea Island. But I try not to be influenced by coincidental media images.
Die Zeit: The difference between a person in need in Cambodia and a person in Budapest, Vienna or Munich is that he is closer to us and we can do something for him. Does that imply responsibility?
Thilo Sarrazin: People arriving in Vienna now are not in need, but in security. Life and limb are not threatened. They are fed and treated medically.
Die Zeit: They come to Germany to be safe, because before they were in distress.
Thilo Sarrazin: If they came by way of the Balkans, they started out in secure northern Iraq or in secure Turkey. They are already out of the dangers of war. If they decide to go to Germany, there are other reasons. It is just more pleasant to be a refugee in Hannover than in Erbil.
Die Zeit: Do you fear the immigration of these people?
Thilo Sarrazin: Everything I wrote in Germany Abolishes Itself has not only been confirmed, but is far worse.
Die Zeit: For example?
Thilo Sarrazin: The [indigenous] birth rate continues to fall.
Die Zeit: The most recent figures contradict that.
Thilo Sarrazin: Those are small fluctuations in the trend — insignificant. The radicalization of Islam proceeds, the widening gap in educational achievement, the transformation of city districts — all continue unabated. All of that will be amplified by immigration. So I am naturally concerned.
Die Zeit: If the experience with integration in Germany is as disastrous as you say, how do you explain the population’s overwhelming readiness to help?
Thilo Sarrazin: First of all, it is good that people help other people. But the question of readiness to help must be separated from the question of what is right for our state and our society in the long run.
Die Zeit: What would be right in the long run?
Thilo Sarrazin: No country in the world can solve the problems of another country. That must come from the country itself.
Die Zeit: And if it does not succeed, do we leave the people to their misery?
Thilo Sarrazin: We must protect our own population and our social model from external threat. That includes an excess of unregulated, culturally alien immigration. And as for the rest, countries where things are going badly have the obligation to correct things themselves. In1960, Singapore was poorer than Ghana — both were British colonies at that time. And look at where Singapore is today, and where Ghana is. Singapore owes that to no external power, but only to itself.
Die Zeit: There could be long arguments about that and about the causes of fleeing one’s country. But what should we do about the people who are already here? We are expecting 800,000, possibly a million immigrants this year alone.
Thilo Sarrazin: I was not speaking of doing away with the causes of flight from other countries — we cannot do that. I was speaking of how we protect ourselves from the consequences of conditions in other countries. That must come first.
Die Zeit: But those who have been here for a long time! We must concern ourselves with them, now.
Thilo Sarrazin: Please, allow me to look at that differently, It is a scandal of political incompetence and fantasy that the political establishment — thirty years after the Schengen Agreement — does not understand that it is only possible to take down internal border controls if the external border can be controlled effectively. And that is technically absolutely possible.
Die Zeit: What then? Do you want fences and naval units everywhere against refugee boats?
Thilo Sarrazin: Walls and fences are not bad at all if you want to control borders. The Chinese empire developed its culture behind a 10,000 meter long wall which lasted 1800 years. The Roman empire successfully protected itself for 400 years against immigrants from the wilder regions using their limes. All over the world, civilizations and cultures that were materially advanced have protected themselves against unregulated immigration
Die Zeit: Except for perhaps North Korea, there are no border controls that function,
Thilo Sarrazin: But of course, no one goes to China if China does not want them to.
Die Zeit: Isn’t it just the opposite — no one wants to go to China, and that is why no one goes? As the mightiest military power, the USA can’t manage to control its border with Mexico.
Thilo Sarrazin: The Americans control most unwanted immigration. At any rate the Americans do not have our quantitative problems. Africa, which has 1.2 billion people now and will have 4.4 billion by year 2100, is not a monkey on their back.
|1.||Frontex = Management of European External Borders|
|2.||A detailed statistical article in Der Spiegel of October 27, 2013 is cited.|
|3.||A marked, walled or fortified border.