German government promotes militarism

This video is about early twentieth century German militarist propaganda.

By Martin Novak and Peter Schwarz in Germany:

German defence minister promotes militarism

26 November 2012

The Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), ironically, was the site chosen by Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière November 1 in which to call for the expansion of German militarism. Ruins of the church, destroyed by Allied air raids on Dresden in 1945, had served in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) as a memorial to the war, and was completely rebuilt with the aid of international donations following Germany’s reunification in the early 1990s.

De Maizière spoke at the Frauenkirche’s regular forum on the topic: “Acceptance of international responsibility—Germany’s role in the world of today”. The main inner area of the church was well filled, and a few observers occupied positions in the upper galleries. Among the several hundred members of the audience were also a few dozen individuals in military uniform, identified by the moderator as students from Dresden’s Army Officers Training School, who were led by their brigadier general.

Before the lecture began, an elderly man unexpectedly addressed the gathering and pointed out that the ruins of the building had up to a few years earlier served as a reminder of German megalomania and war crimes. Now, he said, the defence minister was using the site to prepare for a renewed deployment of German soldiers throughout the world. He referred to the Kunduz massacre by German forces in Afghanistan that had claimed the lives of over a hundred civilians and protested against the fact that war propaganda was now being conducted in the church.

The man was interrupted by heckling, which developed into concerted whistling and hissing until he was forced to leave the church. His female companion cried out to the audience, “Shame on you!”

De Maizière employed the ecclesiastical setting to reinforce his militaristic propaganda with biblical references, quotes from Luther and anti-communist prejudices. He appealed to irrationalism, vague fears and “the certainty of faith in a world of uncertainty” to campaign for the worldwide deployment of the Bundeswehr (German army) as “a key instrument of German security policy”.

By focusing on hope and faith and condemning any kind of scientific certainty as a characteristic of totalitarian regimes, he attempted to challenge the anti-militarism deeply rooted in broad sections of the German population following the experience of two bloody world wars.

The defence minister linked this appeal to scepticism, ignorance and religious mysticism with an argument for global deployment of the Bundeswehr to fight for German interests “in a world of uncertainty”. “We have become more vulnerable. World trade and global communication networks can be interrupted easily and without requiring significant financial backing”, he said.

So, de Maizière admitted the link between economic interests and militarism. When German President Horst Köhler admitted that link in the Afghan war, he was sacked for being honest.

19 thoughts on “German government promotes militarism

  1. I would be more concerned about the militarism of China. They are starting to imply geographic expansion; the south sea claims are the most visible. Now they have issued new passports with lands/waters of Vietnam, India, Taiwan and other independent nations shown within China’s borders. This, apparently, as a floating of a trial baloon to see what they can get away with.


    • China is not the only country with map issues.

      The present nationalist government in Hungary promotes “Greater Hungary” policies, with maps of the much wider borders of Hungary, from when it was still a semi-autonomous part of the Habsburg empire:

      Back to Germany: for decades after the second world war, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) kept printing maps with the borders of Germany as during Hitler’s Third Reich. Not only did they not recognize East Germany; they also did not recognize that the land east of the Oder-Neisse border was Polish now.


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