Army records 147 rightwing extremism cases

20th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 March 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Germany's armed forces recorded 147 cases of right-wing extremism or hostility to foreigners in its ranks last year, about the same number as 2005, a report said Tuesday. Some 70 per cent of the incidents involved conscripts, the rest regular soldiers, armed forces ombudsman Reinhold Robbe said in presenting his annual report. Robbe said the vast majority of the incidents involved Hitler salutes or chants, playing right-wing songs or daubing extremist slogans on objects. There

20 March 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's armed forces recorded 147 cases of right-wing extremism or hostility to foreigners in its ranks last year, about the same number as 2005, a report said Tuesday.

Some 70 per cent of the incidents involved conscripts, the rest regular soldiers, armed forces ombudsman Reinhold Robbe said in presenting his annual report.

Robbe said the vast majority of the incidents involved Hitler salutes or chants, playing right-wing songs or daubing extremist slogans on objects.

There were also cases of soldiers racially abusing comrades with a different skin colour or ethnic background, he said.

The ombudsman said that in many cases the perpetrators acted under the influence of alcohol and did not come from a right-wing background.

Robbe, who was appointed by the German parliament, said every effort had to be undertaken to ensure the armed forces did not become a breeding ground for right-wing extremism or racial prejudice.

But he pointed out that the military was "an open army" with constant changes in personnel "and therefore a mirror of our society."

It was impossible to stop undesirable developments in society from spilling over into the armed forces, he added.

DPA

Subject: German news

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