Nazis in der bundeswehr

An interim report has been completed, documenting dozens des far-right incidents bei the upstream commando von Germany"s defense forces, die KSK, going rückseitig to 2017. take away a closer look at at die KSK"s tainted record.

Du schaust: Nazis in der bundeswehr


The KSK elite force was created an response to bei incident that many in Germany look back on v shame:In april 1994 the ost African state des Rwanda was descending right into violence amid die slaughter of the country"s Tutsi minority. Seven deutsche Welle staff and their relatives recorded up bei the chaos desperately needed to be evacuated native a transmitter site bei the funding Kigali. However it was Belgian paratroopers — und not German special forces — who got the arbeit done.

How could it be the a nation with a population of about 80 million was notfall able to come to die rescue of its very own citizens?

The elite company that arised from that insight erste began zu take shape bei September 1996 with the creation of the top-secret Kommando spezialkräfte (KSK) force in the south-western town of Calw. It was modelled on comparable outfits bei the US und UK.


The KSK upstream force was modeled on similar outfits in the UK and US

A more two years passed before die KSK was erste sent into ns field. That pflicht came when die government von Serbia refused to deport suspected war verbrecher Milorad Krnojelac to die International verbrecher Tribunal an The Hague. Under his authority, it was alleged, there hinweisen been hundreds von cases des torture and rape bei a Serbian detention camp.

KSK soldiers developed a reconstruction des Krnojelac"s apartment, which lock used during weeks of preparations zum the operation. One morning in June 1998, the order finally came und the KSK was launched into action. That same evening, Krnojelac was handed over to die authorities bei The Hague.

This was the zuerst missionthat was confirmed and one des very few that hasbeen publicly acknowledged.

German special pressures were deshalb sent to Afghanistan bei the aftermath des the 9/11 terror attacks on ns US. Curiously though, it appears that die KSK has actually never been deployed on the kind of procedure that it was actually set trost for: liberating German citizenstaken hostage abroad.

Right-wing extreme rearing the ugly head

In 2003 KSK command Reinhard Günzel spoke out in support of martin Hohmann, a christen Democrat member des parliament, who had held a controversial decided on 3 October, a Germannational holiday. In that speech, Hohmann had tried to equate crime committed von the Nazis through deeds allegedly lugged out by Jews during the Russian revolution.

Defense Minister peter Struck promptly fired Günzel, in return for which Struck was himself targeted with fatality threats.

This was the erste time die KSK had made headlines in connection v far-right extremism. An the adhering to years, such cases increased.


Officer Reinhard Guenzel went out of his way in support zum a far-right politician

In 2007, KSK captain daniel K.* endangered a fellow officer who had publicly described ns deployment des German troops against Yugoslavia in 1999 as a violation of international law and the mission in Afghanistan together a "betrayal von peace" notfall backed von international law.

Daniel K. Received mild disciplinary penalty from senior officers, which did not prevent er from relocating up ns KSK ranks. It was not zum another twelve years that he was finally dismissed from service zum having contacts with the far-right "identitarian movement."

Another KSK soldier was fired in 2015 bei the wake von a different probe into ns activities of far-right bewaffnete kräfte soldiers. Using the codename "Hannibal," AndreS. Had begun zu build trost a dense network des chat groups that mutual information and opinions about die German government"s refugees policies and what they believed was the imminent outbreak of civil war.

In 2017, investigators discovered ammunition, signal, and smoke grenades an AndreS."s house and also detonators zum hand grenades. He was latersentenced to pay a fine for firearms und explosives offenses and dismissed from ns Bundeswehr.

KSK: easy target weil das far-right infiltration?

"The cases point kommen sie a methodical problem," states Dirk Laabs. He spent two year researching far-right tendencies bei the police und the military, including the KSK, weil das his publication "Enemies des the State an Uniform."

Laabs figured out a tendency kommen sie misunderstand ns whole notion des "an upstream unit."There ist a lot of pressure anda last of frustration among ns soldiers end what they lakers as a lack von appreciation zum their work an politics and broader society. This, claims Laabs, has kommen sie together zu create a toxizität mood an which"you gain a unit the believes the it doesn"t owe any accountability kommen sie anybody."

Laabs also argues the there zu sein a leadership problem, through senior offizier turning a blind eye kommen sie far-right incidents und infringements. Ns result zu sein that soldiers who could otherwise speak out tend zu keep their heads down.

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It would, however, it is in wrong kommen sie view ns KSK as a "shadow army within ns Bundeswehr," claims Laabs. "But what we do oase is a whole lot of shaky, poorly-led, young, far-right-leaning commando soldiers whose very existence is potentially in ruins. We should definitely keep in eye ~ above what they perform next."

One large problem, states defense experte Hans-Peter Bartels, is the lack of proper rotation among the people serving in these units. Bartels entered the Bundestag in 1998 and served together Parliamentary Commissioner zum the equipped Forces from 2015 kommen sie 2020. Hewas the personen whosoldiers couldturnto.

"The turnover times at die KSK are impossible. Over there are human being who have been with die commando pressure virtually from work one. They"ve gott no idea around what"s walk on anywhere else bei the military," that argues.

What"s more, bei recent times, the elite unit "is solid deployed." after ~ all: KSK pressures are gradually being withdrawn indigenous Afghanistan and — die worst-case — work to rettung German citizens taken hostage overseas have so far simply not happened."

A neu dimension

An incident in April 2017 finally angeführt to one totality KSK agency being disbanded. Far-right music and Hitler salutes to be reported native a farewell party weil das the head von 2nd Company. Pascal D. Was danach sentenced zu pay a good for, "using the insignia des unconstitutional organisations." Specifically, that wore a battle cry relevant with Serbian extremists as a tattoo. Following die incident, he was dismissed from dienstleistungen with ns KSK.

As a result of the same gathering, one more KSK soldier showed up on ns radar von the Bundeswehr"s own knowledge service: philipp S. Throughout a raid top top his land in February 2020, investigators found two kilograms des plastic explosives, weapons, ammunition, cultivate grenades, and Nazi trappings.Philipp S. Was handed a two-year sentence on parole for offences against the war Weapons control Act. He was deshalb ordered zu leave ns Bundeswehr.

Germany"s Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer described ns cache des weaponry as a "new dimension" an far-right activities. Nur a couple des weeks later, in July 2020, die minister placed forward proposals for reform of the KSK. Ns force would certainly be given "time to drücken sie the reset button."

Meanwhile, die 2nd Company was unceremoniously dissolved, v members reassigned to other sections des the KSK or allocated kommen sie other units.


Philip S. Was dismissed from die Bundeswehr and handed a two-year sentence ~ above parole for offences versus the zu sein Weapons manage Act

No reform, no KSK

The negativ headlines have hit the erstwhile elite pressure hard, claims Hans-Peter Bartels. The vast majority des the KSK soldiers space definitely not anti-democratic, says the former equipped forces commissioner. "When freundin really sit down und listen zu what they schutz to say, then there ist a echt sense of bitterness the they kann sein be dismissed von all and sundry together a hotbed von far-right extremism," that says.

Still, the fact the a Änderung process might finally it is in underway does notfall mean that there oase not to be any more demoralizing headlines.

On die contrary: KSK Brigadier General markus Kreitmayr zu sein believed to have violated regulations when he came hoch with die unusual idea des telling his troops thatthey can return any ammunition and weapons that they might oase taken home and that they can do so anonymously and without fear of punishment.

At the very least 25,000 rounds des ammunition were duly returned betwee March und May 2020, follow to the Bundestag"s Defense Committee, which was only recently notified about die initiative. Hand grenades to be among the returned arms. What möchte become of General Kreitmayr is weil das the time gift unclear.

Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauerhas given ns KSK until die summer zu put that is house in order. If that does not happen, thiscould be ns beginning of its end.

*Editor"s note: follows ns German press code, i beg your pardon stresses die importance von protecting die privacy von suspected criminal or victims und urges us to refrain from revealing full names bei such cases.

This article has been translated from German.

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