FRANKFURT Frankfurt has elected its first Jewish mayor since 1933, marking the first time since the Nazi era that a major German city will be led by a Jew.
Social Democrat Peter Feldmann, 53, surprised local observers by tallying 57.4% of the vote, taking Frankfurts city hall out of the hands of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party for the first time in 17 years. This is a big, big surprise, Feldman said. Nobody, including me, expected this.
The city councilman ran on a platform strong on social themes including fighting child poverty and adequate elder care and low-income housing.
A political scientist and former director of an elderly care facility, Feldmann spent two years at a kibbutz in Israel during his youth. First analyses of the poll results show that voters in multicultural Frankfurt disliked his CDU opponent, Boris Rhein, who is known as a law and order man.
The new mayor will have to demonstrate considerable savvy to get around controversy that has already manifested over his announced plans to raise a local commercial tax and levy a so-called bed tax on hotels.
Read the full story in German by Hannelore Crolly
Photo - YouTube
*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations