Disciplinary Action Ordered Against Two German Army Officers

Disciplinary action has been ordered against two army reserve officers who wore their uniforms at the funeral of Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz on Jan. 6 in defiance of a Defense Ministry ban. Doenitz, commander of the U-boat fleet in World War II, succeeded Hitler as Reichschancellor in 1945 and negotiated Germany’s surrender. But he never repented his Nazi activities or his loyalty to Hitler.

The Defense Ministry explicitly ordered military personnel not to attend the funeral in uniform. The occasion was used by rightwing and neo-Nazi elements to demonstrate their sympathy for the Nazi system. It was largely shunned by German officials. What action would be taken against the reservists was unclear inasmuch as they are not bound by the same regulations as officers on active duty.

Doenitz was selected by Hitler as his successor before his suicide. The Admiral served in that capacity for the last three weeks of the Third Reich. He was tried at Nuremberg in 1946 and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for war crimes.

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