Report: Far-right network active at German military university — “Nazis in the closet”

The Bundeswehr University has come under scrutiny as claims of far-right extremism in the German military continue to mount. Defense Minister von der Leyen, meanwhile, also finds herself under increasing pressure.

Bundeswehr-Uni Neubiberg (Picture alliance/dpa/A. Gebert)

There may be a growing group of right-wing radicals among Germany’s military, according to an exclusive report published in the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday.

The newspaper reported that a network of extremists involved with the so-called “Identitarian Movement” has been growing for years at the Bundeswehr University in Munich and included students to alumni.

Bundeswehr University in Neubiberg near München (Picture alliance/dpa/A. Gebert)The Bundeswehr University is chiefly designed to equip service members for future careers outside the military

The “Identitarian Movement” is currently being monitored by the Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the country’s  domestic intelligence agency, for possibly infringing on the German constitution, also known as the Basic Law.

The right-wing movement, with an estimated 300 members, propagates a return to what it sees as traditional, national values and is accused of having xenophobic and Islamophobic undertones.

The German military counter-intelligence agency (MAD) is presently examining a total of 284 cases of alleged far-right extremismin the Bundeswehr.

Bundeswehr under pressure

MAD investigations include four students at the Bundeswehr University suspected of having ties with far-right movements, according to the Süddeutsche report. The MAD probe is scrutinizing potential direct or indirect links between the four students and a first lieutenant in custody since late April on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks. Franco A. and his two known accomplices had reportedly been scheming to blame refugees for the attacks. Franco A. had pretended to be a Syrian migrant himself and received subsidiary protection status in a scandal that raised many questions about how asylum applications are handled by Germany’s Office for Migration and Refugees.

The Franco A. case also shook the German military, whose image was already suffering after a series of abuse cases. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen launched a major inquiry into the present state of disarray at the Bundeswehr but has been criticized for mismanaging the crisis, facing accusations to doing too little, too late.

Infografik Bundeswehr Umfrage Deutschlandtrend ENG

The Defense Ministry has also come under pressure after in course of the investigation it was revealed that a number of soldiers have been holding onto Nazi-era mementos and that several military installations were still names after Wehrmacht leaders.

‘Complete failure’

Ursula Von der Leyen (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Kappeler)Von der Leyen supports the inquiry into the Bundeswehr but denies personal responsibility for oversights

Von der Leyen faced fresh attacks on her leadership, with the defense representative of the Left Party, Christine Buchholz, accusing the military as well as MAD of “complete failure.”

“Today we heard for the first time explicitly that there are links (in the military) to the periphery of the Identitarian Movement,” Buchholz told reporters. “A relevant portion of the Bundeswehr has an issue with right-wing extremism. Von der Leyen and her predecessor systematically made light of this problem for years.”

When asked about the case of Franco A., Buchholz said, “What we are dealing with here is nothing less than the formation of right-terrorist cell.”

The Associated Press

FILE – In this Aug. 16, 2016 file photo German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen speaks to soldiers from the German army in Weissenfels, Germany. Federal prosecutor’s spokeswoman Frauke Koehler said that 27-year-old Maximilian T. was arrested in the southwestern city of Kehl on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 on charges of preparing an act of violence. (Sebastian Willnow/dpa via AP, file) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Pro-Nazi Soldiers in German Army Raise Alarm

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2 Responses to “Report: Far-right network active at German military university — “Nazis in the closet””

  1. Brittius Says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

  2. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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