A board member of Germany's central bank told the German paper Welt am Sontag that "all Jews share a certain gene." As you might imagine, everyone is feeling just great about a powerful German just sharing his opinion about Jews.

Ha, whoops! Totally kidding. No, everyone is feeling uncomfortable, about this situation. Thilo Sarrazin, who serves on the board of Bundesbank, and has one of those names where you can just tell he's got some seriously wacky opinions about race, recently wrote a book called Deutschland schafft sich ab (translation: "Germany does away with itself"). And, well, it sounds like a doozy:

In the book he claims the country is on the road to ruin because of the influx of immigrants from the Middle East which would overwhelm the indigenous population and create a nation of ‘dunces'.

In particular he singles out Muslims for failing to integrate and having low IQs....

‘Muslims immigrants don't integrate as well as other immigrant groups across Europe. The reasons for this are apparently not based on their ethnicity, but are rooted in their culture of Islam,' he told Welt am Sonntag.

In that same interview, he said "All Jews share a certain gene. Basques have particular genes, that distinguishes them from others." Which is, well, maybe not a specifically anti-Semitic statement! But public figures may be well served to just, you know, avoid making sweeping pseudo-scientific statements about race or ethnicity. Especially if, say, you are a public figure in a country that participated in a rather well-known recent genocide. Just a thought!

[Daily Mail; pic via AP]