MS Risk Blog

Neo-Nazi’s Infiltration within Germany’s Police and Military

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Last month, Germany’s defense minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, disbanded a fighting company within the KSK, one of the most elite military units in Germany due to the growing of Neo-Nazi views among the members. It was discovered in May that one of the members of the KSK, a sergeant major with the nickname of “Little Sheep”, was hoarding weapons in his house. German authorities found various weapons buried in his garden such as two kilograms of PETN plastic explosives, a detonator, a fuse, an AK-47, a silencer, two knives, a crossbow, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. They also found numerous Nazi memorabilia such as an SS songbook and 14 editions of a magazine for former members of the Waffen SS. The weapons were believed to be stolen from the German military. German officials stated that 48,000 rounds of ammunition and 62 kilograms of explosives have disappeared from the KSK alone, not the whole German military. Politicians in Germany have been in denial regarding the issue of far-rights threats within the military and the police. Weapons have been disappearing from military stockpiled without being investigated. Now, the government seems to have accepted the ugly truth and try to act on it, since cases of far-right extremists in the military and the police, some hoarding weapons and Nazi memorabilia, have multiplied drastically. The mind-set of seeing this as individual cases seems to be not making sense anymore as the numbers indicated that this phenomenon could be well organized. A Counter-intelligence unit within Germany’s military has conducted an investigation towards more than 600 soldiers for suspicion of holding far-right views.

Not only within the military, the Neo-Nazi infiltration within the police force is also concerning. For instance, there was a case in Northern Germany when a police detective started a far-right group chat that listed a list which consisted of thousands of names including politicians, journalists, and activists considered to be the enemy of the Neo-Nazi movement that must be eliminated. The authorities also found more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition hoarded by the police detective inside his apartment along with several guns and flash grenades. The detective stated that the Neo-Nazi group was filled with many police and soldiers. Another case that Germany should pay attention to is the fact that swastika graffiti and anti-Islam slogans are a regular feature in many police academies in Germany. It is also well known that the police never acted seriously in regards to cases involving Neo-Nazi, Anti-Semitism, and racism. The most well-known example of such behavior was the killing spree carried out by the self-named National Socialist Underground (NSU). Between the years 2000 and 2007, the right-wing extremist terror cell murdered nine business owners with immigrant backgrounds, as well as a female police officer. Within this case, the police focused their suspicion towards the victim’s families rather than looking for racist motives. Eventually, the murder spree was ended by the suicide of the perpetrators, a huge failure for the police due to the ignorance towards Neo-Nazi issues.

In general, Far-Right problems in Germany have been a problem for quite a long time, even infiltrated the police and military force. The problem worsens with the emergence of AFD, a Far-Right political party that legitimized the ideology under the pretext of countering the issue of foreign immigrants. The massive number of cases in regards to police and military members exposed in Neo-Nazi views, stealing weapons from the state stockpiles, created a community for like-minded people, could be seen as a signed that the whole movement is organized, thus having a plan which could endangered freedom and democracy in Germany. The government of Germany has to take the issue much more seriously to prevent the ugly past to be repeated.