German media outlets reported on Monday that Peter Feldmann was elected as the new mayor of Frankfurt, and is the first Jewish mayor to head a large German city since World War II, and the second Jewish mayor in the country's history.
The 53-year-old Social Democrat won 57% of the votes in the second round of elections, which were held on Sunday. Feldmann defeated his rival Boris Rhein, the representative from Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right CDU party.
'No one predicted this victory.' Feldmann (Photo: Reuters)
"I didn't expect this; truthfully no one predicted this," Feldmann told a German Jewish website, adding that the fact that he is Jewish had no effect on his campaign.
'This goes to show the strength of our open and liberal city; my religion was not even an issue in the elections campaign," he noted. "Religion is important to me, but as a personal matter," Feldmann added.
Prior to WWII, Frankfurt was home to Germany's second largest Jewish population, boasting approximately 30,000 members. Nowadays, the population remains around 7,000 members.
Feldmann is not the first Jewish mayor to head the city of Frankfurt – In 1924 Ludwig Landmann was elected mayor, but was forced to step down after the Nazis came to power in 1933.