Neo-nazism Rises in German Army
Menu JTA Search

Neo-nazism Rises in German Army

Download PDF for this date

Extremist incidents in the German army increased in 1998, according to Germany’s defense minister.

Rudolf Scharping told a news conference in Bonn last week that the number of incidents rose sharply last summer, shortly after the army inducted a new batch of recruits.

Scharping added that 301 members of the army, most of them new recruits, were involved in incidents of right-wing extremism last year.

The incidents were largely propaganda offenses, ranging from graffiti on army buildings to soldiers wearing tattoos with the Nazi insignia.

An army spokesman said the rise resulted in part from an increased readiness to report such incidents.

The display or distribution of Nazi symbols is forbidden in Germany.

Public concern about the issue has grown in the past few years after the German media uncovered extremist activities within the army, such as the production of a video with anti-foreigner and anti-Semitic content.

Last month, Scharping told representatives of the American Jewish Committee that Germany is carefully monitoring such incidents.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund