The German Defence Ministry has written a letter to the parliament, stating, “The Germany military’s counter-intelligence agency is looking into 275 suspected right-wing extremists in its ranks, including a soldier heard saying “Heil Hitler”.
The ministry also claimed that soldiers are performing Nazi salutes and making racist remarks against colleagues with migrant backgrounds.
It is completely illegal in Germany to show Nazi symbols, such as swastikas, in public or make salutes associated with Adolf Hitler’s regime.
In one case, a soldier was heard saying “heil Hitler,” “heil our leader” and “sieg heil, comrades”.
“Heil Hitler” is a Nazi salute or Hitler salute. that was used as a greeting in Nazi Germany. This incident was passed to the military prosecutor and the public prosecutor’s office but the soldier did not get an early dismissal or a service ban.
In an another case, a soldier made racist comments on a Facebook page, demanding the death sentence for “typical foreigners” linked with the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD). The Defence ministry confirmed that said the soldier was “only disciplined”.
Germany’s Constitutional Court said that the NPD resembled Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party but ruled against banning it because it was too weak to endanger democracy.
In a third case, a soldier was allowed to keep his weapon after he was disciplined for performing the Nazi salute while on a trip to the Latvian capital, Riga.
There have been reports that Islamic extremists may be trying to join the country’s armed forces to get military training with the possible aim of carrying out attacks.