Search

Lib Dem councillor refuses to apologise for ‘Nazi slur’

06:30 05 March 2014

Harringay councillor David Schmitz has landed himself in hot water. Picture: Tony Gay

Harringay councillor David Schmitz has landed himself in hot water. Picture: Tony Gay

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

A Lib Dem councillor has been referred to his party’s national standards board for refusing to apologise for a “Nazi slur” he made in the council chamber.

Councillor Joe Goldberg has taken the complaint to the Lib Dem's national board.Councillor Joe Goldberg has taken the complaint to the Lib Dem's national board.

Cllr Joe Goldberg, who is cabinet member for finance, has said he was left with “no option” but to refer Cllr David Schmitz’s “One Borough, One Fuhrer” comment made at February’s Full Council meeting to the national board after the local party failed to elicit an apology from the latter.

The comment was intended to poke fun at the One Borough, One Future scheme - which has been Cllr Goldberg’s pet project.

In an open letter, Labour councillor Goldberg - who is Jewish, like Cllr Schmitz - said it was not acceptable for “an elected councillor to make comparisons between their democratically elected authority and the regime of Nazi Germany”.

He said the comment was a “Nazi slur”.

Cllr Goldberg had first written privately to Haringey Lib Dem leader Richard Wilson and Cllr David Beacham - the local party whip - “to allow this sensitive and difficult issue to be dealt with appropriately”.

“[But] instead of the apology I had hoped to receive and which I think would have allowed us to put the matter to bed, I receive a hateful response accusing me of dishonoring ‘the dead...to advance...opportunistic ends’.”

In his initial email to Cllrs Wilson and Beacham, Cllr Goldberg described the comments as a “rather insensitive and ill-judged attempt at humour”.

But then it was referred back to Cllr Schmitz for response - and that seems to have escalated the problem.

Cllr Schmitz wrote: “Humorous references to the trappings of the Third Reich have been a part of the tradition of European humour ever since Hitler first entered centre stage.

“To partake of this does not dishonour the memory of the victims of the holocaust, a memory of which I am fully aware because my own grandfather was sent to Dachau in the immediate aftermath of the Austrian Anschluss.

“By contrast, some might say that what does dishonour the victims is the sight politicians presuming to speak for the dead and the bereaved in order to advance their opportunistic ends.”

This is the second time comments made at Full Council have provoked a later complaint. As the Broadway previously reported, Cllr Schmitz’s fellow Lib Dem Cllr Juliet Solomon was forced to apologise after she was accused of making a “racist” comment at November’s meeting.

However, the local party is standing behind Cllr Schmitz - instead accusing the Labour group of using the comment for their own political ends.

Cllr Beacham told the Broadway: “With an election coming up Labour are deliberately choosing to misrepresent this issue in a particularly unpleasant way.

“Cllr Schmitz was making a comment on the dictatorial and undemocratic nature of the council, not making light of extremism in any way - something he would not do and something I would not tolerate.’’

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

32 minutes ago
Yasmin Farah

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find two sixteen-year-old girls who have gone missing from Camden.

Mary Langan with her 23-year-old son, James

Carers of adults with demential and disabilities are demanding change after a report revealed there is a “breakdown of trust” on the Haringey boards designed to represent them.

Yesterday, 17:14
Nina Martynchyk with her foster mother, Nina B

A young woman who overcame anorexia is organising a conference with the Royal Free Hospital to draw attention to how the condition affects children and teenagers

Yesterday, 16:01
Highgate School

Students and staff at Highgate school were reflecting on a very impressive set of GCSE results today, with 88.2 percent of exams receiving a grade of A* or A.

Yesterday, 12:41
Hampstead School is in Westbere Road (Pic credit: Google streetview)

The Hampstead School has once again seen its GCSE results improve today, with nearly a quarter of all grades receiving an A* or A grade.

Yesterday, 11:53
Hornsey School for Girls

Girls at Hornsey School for Girls were today collecting some stellar GCSE results.

Yesterday, 11:44
Sam White has praised William Ellis pupils

The headteacher of William Ellis school, Sam White, was full of praise for his students today after a promising set of GCSE results.

Yesterday, 10:56
UCS school

University College School was today celebrating the second best set of GCSE results in its history, with a remarkable 88.6 percent of exams achieving either an A* or A grade.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now