Germany Considers Disbanding Special Forces Unit After Discovering Members Hold Nationalist Views

German soldiers
Ole Kruenkelfeld/Bundesregierung-Pool via Getty Images

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is said to be considering a massive restructure to the elite Special Forces Command (KSK) Bundeswehr unit after a series of far-right extremist allegations involving the unit’s members.

Information from the Defense Committee of the Bundestag has revealed that at least one company of the unit– consisting of 70 soldiers — is to be dissolved but Kramp-Karrenbauer rejected calls for completely dissolving the army’s special forces, saying that they were still needed.

Formed in 1996, the KSK is a specialised elite unit that deals with hostage situations in foreign war zones, which allowed Germany to operate without the need to call on other countries for help when their nationals were kidnapped.

Since 2017, however, the KSK has seen a series of accusations of far-right extremism, according to a report from tabloid Bild. In one incident, a member of the unit was said to have given a Hitler salute during a farewell party for an officer who was leaving the unit and police in Saxony later found a stockpile of weapons and ammunition at the home of one of the guests.

Germany’s Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) has previously reported on far-right sympathies within the elite unit, saying that members were five times more likely to be sympathetic to far-right ideologies than regular members of the Bundeswehr.

The German military has been accused of not only weeding out soldiers with far-right sympathies in the past but also those who support populist policies and parties like the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the official opposition party in the German parliament.

Just weeks ago it was also revealed that the KSK has had several members sympathetic to Islamic extremist ideas, with MAD reporting it had found at least four members who were followers of radical Islamic ideology, one of which was sacked earlier this year.

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


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