Berlin (dpa) - In the debate about racism in the security forces, the new commissioner for defense of the Bundestag, Eva Högl, called for vigilance. Overall, however, the Bundeswehr was “not particularly susceptible” to this, said the SPD politician of the dpa.
"And racism has no place in the Bundeswehr, but of course we have to keep a close eye on it and ensure that it is so," said Högl.
SPD leader Saskia Esken had told the newspapers of the Funke media group against the background of the death of the African American George Floyd in the USA during a brutal police operation in late May and protests in Germany: «There is also latent racism in the ranks of Germany Security forces who have to be identified and combated by measures of the internal leadership. » To deal with cases of unjustified police violence, Esken called for an independent complaint office.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), however, sees no subliminal racism in German police authorities. "The accusation of latent racism in the German police is absolutely incomprehensible to me," which is why he rejects it, said the CSU politician, according to a spokesman. At the same time, the following applies: "For racism: zero tolerance!" Each individual case will be investigated. The Federal Police has reported a total of 25 suspected racism cases since 2012, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Of these, 16 cases became known through internal information.
Esken gets approval for her statement from the Turkish community in Germany. "She drew attention to a problem that we have been drawing attention to for a long time," said Gökay Sofuoglu, chairman of the municipality, to the editorial network Germany (RND). "We have known that we have latent racism in the police force since the NSU murders," Sofuoglu emphasized. At that time, “a lot was covered up”.
However, Sofuoglu conceded that the police were mostly trying to carry out their duties “within the framework of the Basic Law”. There is also progress. The fact that Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Interior Minister Seehofer are now talking about racism is as much an advance as the fact that “the subject is being discussed at all”. Anyone who is racist should also experience sanctions, Sofuoglu warned. In addition, those affected should be encouraged to report. "But this is only possible if you have the feeling that it will be followed up," said the community leader.
Meanwhile, the Greens party leaders Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck got backing from the SPD for their request to delete the term "race" from the Basic Law. The deputy party leader Serpil Midyatli told the newspapers of the Funke media group: «The outdated term" race "has no place in the Basic Law, it has to be deleted from Article 3. There are no races, I would also like this clarity in our German constitution, »she said. Article 3 of the Basic Law states: "Nobody may be disadvantaged or favored because of their gender, their origin, their race, their language, their home and origin, their beliefs, their religious or political views. Nobody may be disadvantaged because of his disability."