In der aktuellen Ausgabe Number 3 der New York Review of Books seziert Timothy Garton Ash mit spitzer Feder die kruden „Theorien“ des Thilo Sarrazin:
Sarrazin proceeds from two familiar observations—that Germany’s native-born population has a very low birthrate, and that the country has a lot of poorly integrated Muslim immigrants with (currently) a higher birthrate—to conjure a nightmare scenario in which, by the year 2100, a dwindling puddle of perhaps as few as twenty million true German Germans are dominated and pushed around by the descendants of Turkish and other Muslim immigrants, who build mosques and “Koran schools” while the country’s “churches, castles and museums” fall into decay.
Oswald Spengler, thou shouldst be living at this hour! Der Untergang des Abendlandes! 1 Finis Germaniae! The people Tacitus incompletely described around the year 100 AD in his Germania, all those manly Hermanns wandering the Teutonic forest, turning aside from their reading of Goethe and Schiller only to sire upon stout, fecund blond maidens many hearty, cultured little Sarrazins, will be no more. Germania, 100–2100, RIP. Unless, that is, Germania pulls itself together and takes the medicine prescribed by Dr. Sarrazin.
He claims in the introduction that he is concerned above all to achieve “clarity and accuracy.” But Germany Abolishes Itself is actually a huge, indigestible pot of goulash, mixing numerous statistical tables and bullet-point lists, of the kind you might find in a German finance ministry internal report, with amateur history and philosophy, fragments of autobiography, and a meandering rant about Islam and the decline of the West. The finance ministry official plays Oswald Spengler.
Timothy Garton Ash widerlegt viel von dem im Buch behaupteten Unfug. Höhepunkt des Artikels ist aber seine Schilderung wie Familie Sarrazin die Ernährungsmöglichkeiten eines Hartz-4-Empfängers anhand eines praktischen Experiments erprobt:
He reports that he got one of his officials in the Berlin city finance department to work out in detail how one could feed oneself for three days on the €4.25 a day that (in 2008) was allowed for food. He reprints here the resulting menu, which he describes as providing four meals a day and being “very balanced and varied.” One of the four meals is “1 glass of tea + 3 biscuits.” The sum total of one supper is “1/2 gherkin, 130g sausage loaf (1 slice), 200g potato salad.” Who could ask for more?
Better still, he reports that he and his wife nourished themselves for several days “without any special effort at all” on this social security food allowance. Oh, had I the pen of Charles Dickens to conjure the scene! Herr Dr. Finanzsenator (salary in 2008: €138,000 a year) and his good lady sit down, in their presumably not uncomfortable abode, to sample the delights of living like the poor. Carefully they weigh out the potato salad. They slice the sausage loaf. They halve the gherkin. As they enjoy this ample meal, helped down with a glass of fine Berlin tap water, they talk of books, history, the decline of the West. A Schubert quintet sounds quietly in the background, from the gramophone under the portrait of Goethe. Then, replete, Dr. Sarrazin leans back and says, “You see, my dear, really the poor live quite well!”