Berlin The newly elected leader of Germany's main Jewish organization called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a "second Hitler" who should be barred from attending the World Cup in Germany, according to comments published Thursday.
Ahmadinejad should not be allowed to set foot on German soil, Charlotte Knobloch said in remarks published in Bild newspaper. The Holocaust survivor was elected the first woman president of Germany's Central Council of Jews on Wednesday.
"For me, this man is a second Hitler," Knobloch said. "He denies the Holocaust - that is illegal in Germany. The German government should therefore not protect him with diplomatic immunity. The authorities should rather investigate him and charge him."
Ahmadinejad has indicated more than once that he might visit the Iranian national team during the World Cup soccer tournament, though no specific plans have been announced.
The Iranian president has sparked outrage for repeatedly questioning Israel's right to exist, saying the country should be wiped off the map and dismissing the Holocaust as a myth.
In Israel, meanwhile, Nobel peace laureate Eli Wiesel suggested in an interview published Thursday that military action might be necessary to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb.