BERLIN German investigators have identified Nazi-era navy memorabilia in a barracks, equivalent to that identified in the garrison of an military officer arrested on suspicion of organizing a racially enthusiastic attack, the Defence Ministry mentioned.
The discovery broadens a scandal about ideal-wing extremism in the German military that has damage Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, a near ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, much less than 5 months from a national election.
Spiegel On the web claimed that a display cabinet that contains Nazi-era Wehrmacht helmets stood outside the canteen at the Fuerstenberg barracks in Donaueschingen, in southwest Germany.
In addition, pics of troopers from the Wehrmacht — the Nazi regime’s military — hung on the wall of a area in the barracks, where by Wehrmacht pistols, a lot more helmets and navy decorations had been on display.
Investigators identified a equivalent area at a barracks in the French city of Illkirch, where by the officer arrested past 7 days on suspicion of organizing a racially enthusiastic attack was serving in the German-French Brigade.
A Defence Ministry spokesman informed Reuters the objects identified at the barracks in Donaueschingen did not incorporate Nazi merchandise punishable under German law these as swastikas. Possession of normal Wehrmacht merchandise is not an offence.
Nevertheless, on a pay a visit to to Illkirch on Wednesday, von der Leyen mentioned she would not tolerate the veneration of the Wehrmacht in today’s military, the Bundeswehr.
Von der Leyen provoked criticism from a soldiers’ team this 7 days after she criticized what she known as “weak leadership” in the navy after the officer’s arrest on suspicion of organizing a racist attack.
On Thursday, she apologized for the tone of her criticism of the navy in excess of its dealing with of the racism scenario, as she sought to have a divisive furor in the build-up to national elections.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Crafting by Paul Carrel, Modifying by Angus MacSwan)