German militarism and nazism

This 20 August 2017 video is called Army Pro-Nazi Party: Elite German military unit probed over far-right extremist claims.

Another video from Germany used to say about itself:

Germany arrests second soldier in far-right terror plot | DW English

10 May 2017

German authorities have arrested a high-ranking lieutenant in an investigation into a far-right terror plot in the Bundeswehr. It’s the third arrest, and the second in the military.

Investigators say the suspects were planning to assassinate German officials and then blame refugees.

For more on this story, go here.

By Sven Heymanns in Germany:

The German army’s Nazi heritage

23 August 2017

Two developments in recent days illustrate the extent of ultra-right thinking and activities in the German army (Bundeswehr) that are supported and covered up at the highest level.

Last Thursday, the German television investigative programme “Panorama” reported on a far-right incident involving the Bundeswehr’s special forces unit, KSK. The elite unit KSK is stationed in the town of Calw in the state of Baden-Württemberg and operates under strict secrecy.

“Panorama” reported that the incident occurred on April 27 at a farewell party for a KSK company commander. Far-right music was heard at the party with drunken soldiers singing loudly in accompaniment. Four soldiers are alleged to have stretched out their arms in a Hitler salute.

A woman had informed the “Panorama” editorial office about the incident some months ago. She was invited to the ceremony by a friend who worked for the KSK. The commander was expected to navigate an obstacle course that, according to the woman’s testimony, included the throwing of pigs’ heads.

Pork heads, used to mock Jewish or Muslim dietary laws, often play a role in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

At the end of the obstacle course, the woman was expected to be the “sex prize” for the commander. According to the woman, the only reason why the commander did not exploit her sexually was because he was too drunk—like many of the other soldiers.

The planned sex was supposed to be on a consensual basis, but the victim was repelled by the right-wing music. She noted the text of the music and then sought out the band responsible. The band in question is called Sturmwehr, a World War II Nazi shock troop. The group has appeared at concerts organised by the neo-Nazi German National Party (NPD). In 2004, the band recorded an album of far-right songs that NPD supporters then distributed free of charge to children and young people at their schools.

The text included lyrics such as, “Poor Germany, what has become of you? Poor Germany, they are out to kill you,” and was played at the KSK party, according to “Panorama.” The text continues: “Once a country of greatness, culture and strong workers, you have managed to run yourself down in nearly 60 years.” The song then refers positively to the Nazi regime and presents Germany’s post-war history as one of continual national decline.

The Bundeswehr has confirmed that the retirement party for the KSK commander did take place. In an e-mail to the editor of “Panorama,” army representatives declared that the obstacle course took place under the motto “Roman-medieval games,” including the slicing of melons and pineapples with a sword and the tossing of pigs’ heads. The army has promised an internal enquiry to investigate the allegations of Hitler salutes and playing of far-right music.

According to Hanspeter Bartels (SPD), the German parliamentary defence commissioner, any use of Hitler salutes or far-right songs should be regarded as “beyond tasteless. This would also possibly be a criminal offence.”

The incident at the KSK is not an isolated case, but is symptomatic of an army under the influence of the far-right as an integral part of its tradition. This is most clearly shown in the case of the naming of Bundeswehr barracks.

Following the discovery of a far-right group, involving army officers who planned terrorist acts and would then blame refugees, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced a review of the Bundeswehr and its traditions. She declared that the modern Bundeswehr had nothing in common with Hitler’s army and promised to rename barracks that bear the names of leading Nazi officers. Her proposal was criticised at the time by leading generals.

It is now clear that her initiative was merely empty talk. In response to a parliamentary question, it has been revealed that a number of Bundeswehr barracks bearing the names of officers active during the Third Reich will not be renamed.

In four cases, the names of the barracks are to be retained. Three of the barracks are named after Nazi officers.

The Rommel barracks in the Augustdorf district of North Rhine-Westphalia will keep its name. Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox,” was one of Hitler’s favourite officers and was elevated to the status of war hero by Goebbels’s propaganda ministry. It was only at the end of the war that he fell into disgrace and was forced to commit suicide.

Two other military officers are also regarded as suitable role models for the Bundeswehr. Two barracks in the Lower Saxony town of Munster are to retain their names: the Bamm and Schulz-Lutz barracks. Who were these men?

Peter Bamm served as a military physician in World War II, first in France and later in Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union. Adelbert Schulz was a brigadier general and commanded a division of the Wehrmacht. He was active in the invasion of the Sudetenland and Austria. He was awarded the Iron Cross in 1940 for his rapid advance in the French campaign and the breakthrough to Cherbourg on the English Channel. Schulz was also awarded the Knight’s Cross, first and second class. He received, as well, several awards for his military role on the Eastern Front before he died in battle in January 1944 in Ukraine.

Only one barracks is to change its name. The General Thomsen barracks in a North Frisian town are to be renamed the Südtondern Barracks. In World War I, Hermann von der Thomsen fought in the German Luftwaffe. The then-68-year-old played a leading role in 1935 under the Nazis in re-establishing the Luftwaffe. Despite being blind by this time, he was appointed Luftwaffe general.

The Junge Welt newspaper has reported that discussion about a possible renaming was not carried out at a number of barracks, meaning their names will be retained. This includes barracks named after leading generals who served under Hitler and then participated in establishing the post-war Bundeswehr during the 1950s. A possible renaming has yet to be decided at another seven Bundeswehr locations.

In its reply to a question by the Left Party, the government declared that any new renaming of army sites will be decided on location by the respective post commands.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Causes of World War 2 | History of Germany & German Militarism

This film (originally titled ‘Here is Germany’) is a 1945 American propaganda documentary film directed by Frank Capra and produced by the U.S. Office of War Information. It was made to prepare soldiers who had not seen combat to go to Germany for the U.S. occupation after the May 8, 1945 unconditional German surrender. It explains why the Germans started World War 2 and what had to be done to keep them from “doing it again”.

The film gives us a brief history of Germany and German militarism till 1939. It traces the rise of Prussia from Frederick the Great through Bismarck, telling the audience that the Prussian state was organized as an instrument of conquest, dominated first by aristocratic landowners, militarists and state officials, later joined by those big industrialists with ties to the militarists and their Imperial Government. The development of a military-industrial dominated state in the founding of the Prussian-dominated German Empire in 1870 climaxes in the catastrophe of World War 1. The film depicts the Third Reich from this perspective, seeing Nazism as simply a continuation of the aggressive German tradition, promoted by the businesses dependent on government contracts for arms.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German general demands military build-up after federal election

23 August 2017

In the US, the dominance of high-ranking military officers over the government has been increased in the aftermath of a series of White House personnel changes, including the firing of Donald Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon following the fascist rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia. A similar process is underway in Germany, where the general staff is rearming and preparing once again to intervene actively in foreign and domestic affairs.

A foreign affairs comment by retired General Hans-Lothar Domröse that appeared in Monday’s edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung is a warning in this regard. In a piece entitled “World in turmoil,” he wrote, “As Europe’s biggest economic power, Germany can fulfill its global responsibilities only if it possesses an appropriately equipped military.” In the future, he continued, units should “not be established for specific operational scenarios, but equipped according to military principles.”

This statement comes only four weeks before Germany’s federal election. The intervention of a high-ranking general into the election campaign underscores how far advanced is the return of German militarism. Seventy years after the end of World War II, the “primacy of politics over the military” guaranteed in Germany’s Basic law is being transformed into its opposite. As in the Kaiser’s Reich, the Weimar Republic and under the Nazis, leading military figures are once again emerging as spokespeople for foreign and war policies.

Domröse’s demands read like a shopping list for politicians to prepare for Germany’s third grab for world power: “This includes helicopters and planes able to fly day and night; tanks capable of communicating by radio, driving and shooting, and army units with command structures able to lead.” Although many things had moved “in the right direction,” he said, they had been “implemented too gradually.” Now was the time to abandon “half-heartedness.”

He continued: “The airborne forces are barely capable of tactical operations. The Navy is not qualified to operate as a NATO marine force. It cannot assume a leading role within NATO. The manned and unmanned flight systems in the Air Force are sorely lacking. We have too few of them and they are too old. Cyber operations needs defensive and offensive capacities. All of these imbalances impact the internal fabric and also trust, as well as the armed forces’ reputation.”

Domröse left no doubt that his plans for a military build-up are aimed at preparing to wage war. “Only well trained soldiers with the best equipment can cope with the burdens of deployment,” he wrote. “That is the measure by which a professional army must be tested. The separation from friends and family is only one of many burdens. Modest accommodation, heat, dust and fear affect everyone. Combat, the noise of battle, death, wounds and misery demand everything. Operations are dangerous, otherwise other people would be sent.”

As in the past, new imperialist conquests, in the pursuit of which the general staff intends to dragoon a new generation, require the militarisation of politics and society. “The soldiers deserve thanks,” demanded Domröse. “Their superiors, who are discussing the purpose of the Army in the election campaign, have the task of creating the best conditions for them and standing full-square behind them.”

Domröse is not some individual, overwrought general who has lost touch with social reality, but the authentic voice of German militarism. His father, Lothar Domröse, fought in the Second World War as a Wehrmacht company commander on the Eastern Front. In 1956, as a result of German rearmament, he joined the Bundeswehr, Germany’s newly created post-war armed forces, and enjoyed an impressive career in the military. In 1975, he became chief of staff of the armed forces’ high command.

In the years prior to his retirement, Domröse Jr. drew upon the central war aim fought for by his father in the Second World War and the Cold War: the military subordination of Russia. As supreme commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Brunssum in the Netherlands, he organised the massive NATO military build-up against Russia of the past several years, including the stationing of the first German troops in Eastern Europe since the Wehrmacht’s war of annihilation against the Soviet Union.

While sharp disputes are raging within the ruling class over Germany’s future foreign and military policy orientation–Domröse, for his part, appeals in his article for a global role for NATO, in which Germany and Europe should play a prominent part … .

In a recent interview with the Army magazine Bundeswehr Aktuell, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the latest military spending increase as a necessary step in preparing the army for new interventions. She said: “The latest budgets and the government draft for 2018 are a strong signal to the soldiers. It was all urgently required. The number of crisis situations is increasing, there is a lot of instability in Europe’s neighbourhood–and for us that means we must invest more in our security, and above all in our soldiers.”

The Social Democrats (SPD) and their candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz, went even further in their recently released “Principles for a Social Democratic security and defence policy.” This document stated: “To be equal to the increased demands for international deployments to tackle crises, cyber defence and the defence of our own population, we need a modern armed forces capable of action. We need an army in which… troops capable of deploying are ready for crisis situations. For this we have to better equip the army with personnel and material.”

The paper attacks Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) from the right and presents the SPD … as the prime party of German militarism.

“Rather than adapting our armed forces to the challenges of the 21st century, the CDU/CSU defence ministers zu Guttenberg, de Maiziere and Von der Leyen have bungled the reform of the Army and allowed the Defence Ministry to degenerate into a career platform for over-ambitious CDU politicians,” the SPD complains. The ending of military service, for example, had been “rushed through… without preparing the process politically or organisationally.” The Army now had “to struggle with a lack of structures and poor equipment as a result of the CDU/CSU’s arbitrary cost-cutting programme.”

SPD election strategists, who are desperately trying to turn around Schulz’s low poll ratings, have apparently been studying current opinion polls. According to a recent poll by research company Civey, 63.5 percent of Germans want the government to call for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons stored in Germany. Almost half, 47.1 percent, think the government should “definitely” call for this. Less than one in three Germans (29 percent) are of the opposing view: here.

Plans for major military build-up after Germany’s federal election: here.

Following the recent general election, the upgrading of Germany’s Armed Forces is advancing rapidly. On Monday, Germany ordered five new A330 MRTT transport and tanker aircraft from Airbus, which are to be financed together with Norway through the OCCAR Joint Cooperation Organization. The order is part of a European offensive to renew the air forces of European NATO members: here.

Incoming German government plans massive military rearmament: here.

German foreign minister demands aggressive assertion of great power interests: here.

The new grand coalition in Germany is planning a massive expansion of the German army (Bundeswehr) mission in Iraq. This was announced by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) in the course of her trip to the Middle East last weekend: here.

New German foreign minister threatens Russia and intensifies militarism: here.

German defence minister calls for faster increase in military spending: here.

Munich Security Conference. German defence minister advocates German-European war policy: here.

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