German special forces head responds to report on right-wing extremism

Following a report on right-wing extremism in Germany’s military, the commander of the country’s special forces said on Thursday there was no room for extremism among his soldiers.

“It is in our own interest to ensure that cases of suspicion of this kind are completely cleared up,” Brigadier-General Markus Kreitmayr said at the KSK special forces headquarters in the south-western town of Calw.

Kreitmayr was responding to a report in January that the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) was investigating about 550 soldiers on suspicion of right-wing extremism, 20 of whom are stationed with the KSK.

The figures suggest that the KSK is disproportionately affected by extremist infiltration in Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr.

The German Soldiers’ Act expects soldiers to actively support constitutional values. Paragraph 8 of the act states: “The soldier must recognize the free democratic basic order in the sense of the Basic Law and through his entire behaviour advocate its preservation.”

“The tenets of our constitution are what give value, purpose and effect to our service,” Kreitmayr said.

He described the cooperation between MAD and the KSK as trusting and focussed, adding that the rule of law had to apply at all times. “For this reason, there can be no place for prejudgement or generalization to all members of our unit,” Kreitmayr said.

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