This 28 May 2020 video is called Germany’s KSK commando unit in turmoil over neo-Nazi infiltration.
Translated from Judith van de Hulsbeek, Dutch NOS radio correspondent in Germany, 30 July 2020:
After a series of right-wing extremist incidents and whistleblower warnings, the Ministry of Defense is going to do something about the army’s German elite unit, the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK). A company [the second company] within the KSK will be immediately disbanded, international missions will be immediately cancelled. Elite soldiers who are currently abroad will be brought back to Germany.
The KSK has been in the news in recent years due to right-wing extremist incidents. Three years ago, it turned out that KSK soldiers
‘Soldiers’ may mean privates. But in this case, it was about senior officers.
do the Hitler salute at parties and listen to right-wing extremist music. In recent times, a KSK soldier was arrested, among other things, because he had built up a weapons arsenal at home and accused of having prepared an armed attack.
Culture of looking away
In early June, an officer in the unit sent an urgent letter to the Secretary of Defense in which he wrote that there was a culture of looking away. Right-wing extremist views, he wrote, are ignored and even tolerated.
One of the training officers is said to be openly neo-Nazi and nicknamed himself Y-88. 88 stands for ‘Heil Hitler’, as the eighth letter of the alphabet. The trainer was only fired after more than ten years. People like that are no exceptions, according to the officer. He called on the minister to tackle the ‘uncontrollable swamp’.
The ministry has submitted to the KSK a list of more than 60 requirements for reform. Not only is a company dissolved and international missions scrapped, all soldiers will also be questioned again about their views.
Furthermore, there will be more supervision of the training and the weapons stocks will be more strictly controlled. Inspections revealed that tens of thousands of ammunition and kilos of explosives had disappeared. Military intelligence must from now on also cooperate with the ‘ordinary’ secret service.
There are extreme rightists in the military intelligence, but there are also extreme rightists in the civilian secret service with which it must now cooperate.
The problem with right-wing extremism has been going on for a long time and something really needs to change now, the ministry thinks. “If the KSK does not prove that it has a self-cleaning ability, the question is whether it should continue to exist in this form,” State Secretary of Defense Tauber wrote in the letter to the Bundestag. The unit has until October to make improvements.