German Military Accused of ‘Purging’ Populist Supporters

Identitarian Movement Germany/Facebook

While the German army has long expelled those with neo-Nazi sympathies, there have been recent claims that they are now targetting supporters of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) for expulsion as well.

Investigations have alleged that the Bundeswehr have begun broadening the scope of who they consider not fit to serve in the forces which have included “sympathisers of the AfD and the Hungarian premier Viktor Orbán,” Il Giornale reports.

Around 64 of those discharged have been members of the hipster-right anti-mass migration Identitarian youth movement, according to Der Spiegel.

The Identitarians have long been under observation by the German security services and have been the target of raids by police in the past. In neighbouring Austria, the group was accused of forming a “mafia” organisation but were acquitted of the charges following a trial last year.

Another 64 cases are members of the so-called Reichsburger movement, who do not recognise the legitimacy of the current German constitution, and often hark back to the historic 19th-century German state.

The movement, which has been compared to various “sovereign citizen movements,” has also been the subject of raids including one in January of 2017 in which two suspects were arrested, accused of plotting violent attacks against migrants, Jews, and police officials.

Last year, the German domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, reported huge growth among members of the Reichsburger movement saying that numbers had gone from around 10,000 nationwide in 2016 to over 16,500 by the end of 2017.

The numbers contradict some of the official statistics given out by the Military Shielding Service (MAD) which said that only four soldiers had been kicked out of the forces in 2018.

An unnamed source told Der Spiegel that there were at least 450 actual suspected cases of far-right extremism.

The report comes just as the Bundeswehr and German Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen are at the heart of a new potential scandal.

The Bundeswehr is accused of spending far more money on advisors than they had previously admitted with some accusing the Ministry of Defence of purposely concealing the costs which total more than 660 million euros since 2014.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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