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Germany

Frankfurt Becomes First Major German City Since Nazi Era To Elect A Jewish Mayor

A surprise victory turns the keys to Frankfurt city hall over to Peter Feldmann, the German city's first Jewish mayor since 1933.

Frankfurt's mayor elect, Peter Feldmann (YouTube)
Frankfurt's mayor elect, Peter Feldmann (YouTube)

*NEWSBITES

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 Frankfurt's 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

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