The Military Shield Service (MAD) has investigated a total of 208 Bundeswehr officers over the past four years on suspicion of right-wing extremism. The editorial network Germany (RND) reports, citing a response from the Ministry of Defense to an FDP request. The numbers therefore refer to the period from January 1, 2016 to November 29, 2019. Last year, according to the federal government, a total of 38,187 soldiers were officers in the Bundeswehr.
According to the report, 34 of the allegedly right-wing extremist officers had to answer to the military disciplinary court. A simple disciplinary measure was imposed on another officer within the unit.
The response from the Ministry of Defense also shows that it was not only against officers, but also against lower ranks. 425 non-commissioned officers and 531 team ranks were targeted by the MAD. Right-wing extremism was also suspected in 1,173 soldiers and 83 civil servants of the Bundeswehr.
According to the RND report, soldiers had to answer to the military disciplinary court in a total of 147 cases. In a further 57 cases, a simple disciplinary measure "was imposed for offenses related to right-wing extremism". According to the Secretary of State for Defense in the Ministry of Defense, Thomas Silberhorn (CSU), these cases include the "right-wing extremism phenomenon including citizens and self-administrators".
"The high number of extreme right-wing suspected cases and disciplinary measures in the Bundeswehr alone is terrifying," commented the FDP interior expert Benjamin Strasser in the RND. The bigger problem for him, however, was the considerable number of suspected cases and disciplinary measures at the officer level. "The military leadership must be a democratic role model for all soldiers in our country," stressed Strasser.