Militarism in Germany

Report by German armed forces commissioner prompts calls for rearmament

By Peter Schwarz, 23 February 2018

The annual report sets the stage for a massive expansion of military spending on the part of the incoming grand coalition government.

The 2018 Munich Security Conference and the emerging conflict between the US and Europe

By Alex Lantier, 22 February 2018

This weekend's conference was dominated by rising, potentially violent conflict between the major powers, notably the United States and Europe.

The Munich Security Conference and Germany’s return to world power politics

By Peter Schwarz, 21 February 2018

The interventions of the German defence and foreign ministers at the conference show that the central aim of the new grand coalition government will be to accelerate Germany’s return to militarism and great power politics.

Munich Security Conference threatens war on all fronts

By Chris Marsden, 19 February 2018

Washington led the pack in bellicosity towards Syria and North Korea, tied to allegations of Russian and Chinese culpability.

German defence minister delivers war-mongering speech at Munich Security Conference

By Johannes Stern, 19 February 2018

A rearmament offensive is being prepared, comparable only to that of Hitler’s Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

War clouds gather over Munich Security Conference

By Peter Schwarz, 16 February 2018

The central issue being discussed by the high-ranking attendees at the conference is how the assembled great powers, and the Europeans in particular, can rearm to prepare for war.

Germany: The coalition agreement and the return of militarism

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2018

Important sections of the coalition pact between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats agreed last week bear the imprint of the top military brass.

German government plans massive military expansion in Iraq

By Johannes Stern, 13 February 2018

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced the build-up in the course of her trip to the Middle East last weekend.

New NATO headquarters planned in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 12 February 2018

With a new NATO headquarters, Germany would be even more strongly involved in NATO preparations for war against Russia.

Reject German coalition pact! Make public all secret agreements!

Statement of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 10 February 2018

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) demands the publication of all secret protocols and lists of participants in the coalition talks, which have laid the basis for the coming to power of the most right-wing government since the downfall of the Nazis.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity

By Johannes Stern, 8 February 2018

A new grand coalition between the Social Democrats and conservative parties will launch a massive military build-up, initiate a new round of austerity and carry out police-state measures.

Berlin Senate plans increase in police powers

By Katerina Selin, 8 February 2018

Last week, the Berlin Senate, a coalition of the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party and the Greens, discussed a far-reaching security plan for the German capital.

Tens of thousands of German industrial workers on strike

By our reporters, 1 February 2018

Up to 500,000 workers are participating in one-day strikes in Germany’s automotive and electrical industries, the largest strikes in the sector for 15 years.

For new elections and a socialist offensive against the grand coalition in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 15 January 2018

Opposition within the population to the grand coalition’s anti-working class and militarist policies is enormous.

German conservatives and Social Democrats agree to coalition talks

By Peter Schwarz, 13 January 2018

The 28-page document on the results of the exploratory talks conceals a deeply reactionary right-wing programme behind unctuous rhetoric about an “awakening,” “democracy,” “peace” and “justice.”

German foreign minister demands aggressive assertion of great power interests

By Christoph Vandreier, 8 January 2018

Gabriel’s rhetoric, in his interview with Spiegel Online, is aimed at initiating a further escalation of German militarism and freeing Berlin from any restrictions.

Incoming German government plans massive military rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 3 January 2018

A recent paper by the Bavarian Christian Social Union makes clear what the real questions are about forming the next government.

Social inequality and Germany’s government crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 23 December 2017

Social inequality has reached a scale that is no longer compatible with democratic forms of rule.

German police publicly name and shame G20 protesters

By Peter Schwarz, 22 December 2017

In an unlawful act, the police and state prosecutor have published online the photos of hundreds of demonstrators five months after the G20 protests.

German parliament extends foreign military missions with support of the far-right AfD

By Johannes Stern, 16 December 2017

Despite the ongoing government crisis, all the German bourgeois parties are driving forward the militarization of foreign policy.

German Left Party supports SPD foreign minister’s great power politics

By Johannes Stern, 13 December 2017

Dietmar Bartsch, the Left Party’s parliamentary leader, has followed Social Democrat Foreign Minister Gabriel in advocating an “assertive role” for Germany in the world.

Foreign minister Gabriel promotes German big power politics

By Peter Schwarz, 6 December 2017

Gabriel’s new course marks a break with German foreign policy of the last seventy years and a return to pre-1945 politics.

Co-plaintiffs criticize German federal prosecutor and secret service in neo-Nazi NSU trial

By Justus Leicht and Dietmar Henning, 24 November 2017

Lawyers for the relatives and victims of the terrorist attacks carried out by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) are presenting their final arguments in the case against the NSU.

The Socialist Equality Party in Germany demands new elections

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 23 November 2017

Under present conditions, this is the only way in which the working class can intervene into political events, bring their interests to bear and combat the far right’s political offensive.

German court rejects bid by Professor Jörg Baberowski to bar criticism of his right-wing extremism

By Christoph Vandreier, 10 November 2017

The Humboldt University professor was rebuffed in an attempt to have a court prohibit the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei from exposing his falsifications of history.

Calls for military buildup and great power politics grow amid German coalition talks

By Peter Schwarz, 8 November 2017

The voices calling for the adoption of an aggressive foreign policy and a major military expansion by a future “Jamaica coalition” are growing louder.

NATO intensifies its preparations for war with Russia

By Philipp Frisch, 7 November 2017

Against the backdrop of US aggression against North Korea, NATO is intensifying its preparations for war with Russia, the world’s second largest nuclear power.

Germany: “Jamaica coalition” on a course towards war

By Peter Schwarz, 6 November 2017

The greatest pressure for a massive rearmament comes not from the “Jamaica” parties, but rather from the Social Democrats, the SPD.

Did an undercover agent incite the Berlin Christmas Market attack?

By Dietmar Henning, 26 October 2017

An undercover agent from the State Criminal Bureau in North Rhine-Westphalia is alleged to have had close contact with the perpetrator of the 2016 Berlin Christmas Market attack.

German Air Force involved in war crimes in Syria

By Philipp Frisch, 21 October 2017

On October 9, the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) resumed operations in Syria and Iraq as part of the US-led coalition against ISIS.

Trump’s threats against Iran aggravate German-American tensions

By Johannes Stern, 14 October 2017

Trump’s aggressive course of action against Iran has provoked a strong reaction in Berlin, where German politicians and media figures are openly discussing a break with the US.

The AfD enters the Bundestag: a far right party of the ruling establishment in Germany

By Christopher Hosang and Johannes Stern, 2 October 2017

For the first time since the collapse of the Third Reich 72 years ago, a right-wing extremist party has entered the German Bundestag.

German army build-up follows federal election

By Tino Jacobson, 30 September 2017

The latest acquisitions are part of a comprehensive armaments program over coming years whose dimensions recall the massive rearming of the Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

After German elections establishment parties call for further military build-up

By Johannes Stern, 29 September 2017

The ruling class has responded to the right-wing extremist AfD’s electoral success with intensified calls for a military build-up and the strengthening of the repressive state apparatus.

German parties move further to the right after AfD’s electoral success

By Johannes Stern, 26 September 2017

The same parties that are politically responsible for the rise of the AfD are exploiting the right-wing extremists’ electoral success to shift the political climate even further to the right.

The rise of the AfD and the rightward lurch of official politics in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 25 September 2017

For the first time since the fall of the Nazis, a right-wing extremist party is entering Germany’s national parliament.

Sigmar Gabriel’s UN address: German great power ambitions in pacifist garb

By Johannes Stern, 23 September 2017

Phrases about “peace,” “human rights” and “global justice” are rhetorical window-dressing for Germany’s renewed turn to imperialist “Realpolitik.”

Dangerous developments in Germany: AfD leader praises the Nazi Wehrmacht

By Johannes Stern, 21 September 2017

Just days before the federal election, a leading member of the far-right Alternative for Germany has called for Germany's Nazi past to be seen in a positive light.

German conservative newspaper threatens Poland with territorial demands

By Peter Schwarz, 16 September 2017

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung warned the Polish government that its western border would no longer be recognised if it continues to insist upon reparations.

Juncker’s State of the EU speech: Europe readies for war with the world

By Alex Lantier, 14 September 2017

In his State of the European Union speech yesterday, the EU Commission president outlined an aggressive military and commercial agenda for post-Brexit Europe.

Germany’s Left Party: A party of militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 14 September 2017

The Left Party, like all of Germany’s capitalist parties, is fully integrated into German militarism and is playing a central role in the country’s return to an aggressive foreign policy.

Germany: Left Party leader ready to cooperate with far-right AfD

By Verena Nees, 13 September 2017

Sahra Wagenknecht, the Left Party's leading candidate for this month's federal election, has made clear that all its talk of “opposing the right wing” is just that—empty talk.

Plans for major military build-up after Germany’s federal election

By Peter Schwarz, 12 September 2017

The military build-up has not featured in the election campaign because all parties agree that it must be massively expanded after the election.

Germany’s federal election campaign and the danger of global nuclear war

By Johannes Stern, 9 September 2017

The media and political parties have long sought to keep the issues of war and militarism out of the election campaign, but reality is now catching up with them.

Germany: 60,000 people evacuated as WWII bomb is defused in Frankfurt

By Marianne Arens, 7 September 2017

The largest evacuation in post-war German history led to many lively discussions about war and dictatorship.

German federal police illegally collect data to blacklist journalists and activists

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 September 2017

The extent of surveillance and the arbitrary and unconstitutional storage of data on thousands of “left-wing political extremists” are typical characteristics of an authoritarian police state.

Social Democratic chancellor candidate Schulz calls for well-equipped German army

By Johannes Stern, 1 September 2017

The Social Democrats are seeking to transform widespread opposition to US-led imperialist wars into support for German militarism.

Germany: SPD chancellor candidate Schulz attacks Merkel from the right

By Johannes Stern, 28 August 2017

The more the SPD declines in the polls, the more it lashes out aggressively in its election campaign.

German president in Estonia: Historical revisionism to justify militarism

By Peter Schwarz, 25 August 2017

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier used the anniversary of the Hitler-Stalin pact to threaten Russia and boost Estonian nationalism, which draws directly from the traditions of the Nazis.

German government backs Trump’s military escalation in Afghanistan

By Johannes Stern, 24 August 2017

The same politicians and media outlets that criticized Trump’s response to the fascist rampage in Charlottesville are now fully behind his escalation of war in Afghanistan.

German general demands military build-up after federal election

By Johannes Stern, 23 August 2017

Retired General Hans-Lothar Domröse declared that Germany, as Europe’s biggest economic power, must possess an appropriately equipped military.

The German army’s Nazi heritage

By Sven Heymanns, 23 August 2017

Two developments in recent days illustrate the extent of ultra-right thinking and activities in the German army that are supported and covered up at the highest level.

Trump, Charlottesville and Jorg Baberowski

By Johannes Stern, 22 August 2017

The same German media outlets and politicians who denounce Donald Trump for his support for the extreme right defend academic Jorg Baberowski for making even more egregious statements.

German politicians and media promoted the ideology on display in Charlottesville

By Johannes Stern, 16 August 2017

The sanctimonious outrage of German politicians and media outlets over the Charlottesville events cannot conceal their responsibility for the rehabilitation of right-wing extremist ideology and its violent consequences.

Der Spiegel calls for a strongman in Germany

By Wolfgang Weber, 14 August 2017

An entire edition of the leading news magazine is devoted to discussing how a Trump-style leader could be just what the German ruling class needs.

The danger of nuclear war in North Korea and the return of German militarism

By Peter Schwarz, 12 August 2017

The German government increasingly regards the US as its most important imperialist rival and considers an open conflict with its previous ally inevitable in the long term.

German professor promotes World War I military figures as models

By Sven Heymanns, 9 August 2017

In a guest contribution for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Professor Ralph Rotte declares that Germany’s armed forces should look to World War I for their role models.

US sanctions against Russia intensify conflict with Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 8 August 2017

The sanctions against Russia adopted by a large majority in the US Congress are being interpreted in Germany as a trade war measure against Europe.

Conservative daily promotes Germany’s nuclear armament

By Sven Heymanns, 2 August 2017

In two recent articles published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the newspaper makes the case for Germany arming itself with nuclear weapons.

Germany: Extent of “left-wing violence” at G20 summit was wildly exaggerated

By Sven Heymanns, 22 July 2017

It is clear that police, leading politicians and the media systematically exaggerated the scale of what took place in Hamburg and invented a number of incidents.

German police stand by as neo-Nazis give Hitler salute at “rock against foreigners” concert

By Christoph Vandreier, 20 July 2017

More than 6,000 right-wing extremists, wearing shirts reading “National Socialist” and “I love HTLR,” and spouting Nazi slogans, travelled from across Europe to take part in the event.

German military historian Sönke Neitzel evokes the traditions of Hitler’s Wehrmacht

By Christoph Vandreier, 19 July 2017

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Neitzel insists that Germany’s Armed Forces must stand in the tradition of Hitler’s Wehrmacht because they must be an “instrument of battle.”

Germany and France to jointly develop new fighter jet

By Johannes Stern, 18 July 2017

The newly-proposed arms projects—including fighter jets, tanks and drones—should be taken as a warning by workers and young people throughout Europe.

After Hamburg protests, German government plans crackdown on left-wing views

By Andre Damon, 11 July 2017

High-ranking members of the German government have called for the drawing up of a list of “left-wing extremists” throughout Europe and a permanent ban on their entry into Germany.

Police rampage against G20 protestors in Hamburg

By James Cogan, 7 July 2017

The police actions appear to have been a test of their riot tactics, ahead of possible attacks on larger demonstrations.

Germany’s foreign policy shift 2.0: A call for German imperialism to “get going”

By Johannes Stern, 6 July 2017

In advance of the G20 summit in Hamburg, and three months prior to Germany’s federal election, a new frenzy of nationalism and militarism is gripping the ruling elite.

Meeting Wednesday evening at the Technical University of Berlin

The case of Jörg Baberowski: Oppose right-wing and militarist ideology at Germany’s universities

By our reporters, 5 July 2017

In a joint statement for the meeting, the participating organisations make clear that what is at stake is not a personal dispute, but fundamental political questions.

German foreign minister goes on the offensive in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2017

Just days before the G20 summit in Hamburg, and in the midst of the Qatar crisis, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel traveled to the Arabian Peninsula.

German parliament votes to redeploy troops to Jordan

By Johannes Stern, 24 June 2017

German troops will now be even closer to the war zones in Syria and Iraq.

Baberowski acknowledges his right-wing extremist role models

By Peter Schwarz, 21 June 2017

Two weeks after his legal defeat in Cologne, Professor Jörg Baberowski has professed his support for Armin Mohler, a pioneer of the new right.

German defence minister praises Rommel, Hitler’s "favourite general"

By Johannes Stern, 20 June 2017

Speaking at the Field Marshal Rommel Barracks on Armed Forces Day, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that the Army would keep the name of the barracks.

Germany decides on massive tightening of security laws

By Sven Heymanns, 16 June 2017

The implementation of the new measures will significantly expand the powers of the intelligence agencies and represent de facto moves towards the establishment of a police state.

German law professor accuses Baberowski of right-wing extremism and historical revisionism

By Peter Schwarz, 15 June 2017

Despite right-wing historian Jörg Baberowski’s defeat in court, the Presidium of Humboldt University continues to defend him. Bremen-based law Professor Andreas Fischer-Lescano has therefore accused the university Presidium of being “an accomplice of right-wing scholarship.”

Germany: Joschka Fischer supports Merkel’s call for an independent foreign policy

By Peter Schwarz, 10 June 2017

Former Green Party Foreign Minister Fischer lauded the speech by Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered in a Munich beer tent.

EU sets up joint military command centre and European defence fund

By Johannes Stern, 9 June 2017

Under growing transatlantic tensions and the departure of Britain from the EU, the 27 remaining member states are pushing ahead with the establishment of an independent military policy.

IYSSE demands Humboldt University retract its defense of right-wing radical Jorg Baberowski

By the IYSSE at Humboldt University, 9 June 2017

The university leadership can no longer sustain the assertion that it is protecting the freedom of academic inquiry and defending a scholar “whose integrity is beyond doubt.”

Germany to withdraw military aircraft from Turkey

By Johannes Stern, 8 June 2017

The German government has responded to deepening tensions with Turkey, nominally its NATO ally, by withdrawing its military assets from the country’s Incirlik airbase.

Socialist Equality Party stands candidates in German election: Against militarism and war! For socialism!

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party of Germany), 5 June 2017

At the centre of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) election campaign is a socialist programme directed against war and capitalism and expressing the interests of the working class and youth all over the world.

The Great Unraveling: The crisis of the post-war geopolitical order

By Alex Lantier, 2 June 2017

The rapid shifts in international politics since President Trump’s visit to Europe point to the disintegration of institutions that have shaped global politics for decades.

German Professor Baberowski explains his far-right agenda

By Peter Schwarz, 31 May 2017

In an interview in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Humboldt University Professor Jörg Baberowski complains of the “cultural hegemony of the left” and calls for the “removal of taboos” on far-right positions.

Links established between neo-Nazi network and “Identity Movement” in the German army

By Christoph Vandreier, 23 May 2017

The latest reports confirm that the suspected terrorist cell is part of more widespread right-wing extremist networks in the German army.

Germany: SPD reacts to election defeat with authoritarian state measures

By Ulrich Rippert, 20 May 2017

After its electoral debacle last weekend in North Rhine-Westphalia the SPD is placing police measures at the heart of its Bundestag election campaign.

“A declaration of hostility towards the principles of humanity”

Professor Mario Kessler publishes comment criticizing views of right-wing professor Jörg Baberowski

By Christoph Vandreier, 19 May 2017

On Sunday, the Tagesspiegel published a reader’s comment by Professor Kessler, who wrote that Humboldt University professor Baberowski showed an “elemental lack of feeling” for the victims of the Nazis.

Jörg Baberowski insists that Hitler was “not vicious”

By Peter Schwarz, 16 May 2017

In the journal Forschung & Lehre (Research & Teaching), Humboldt University Professor Jörg Baberowski claims that Hitler was an “armchair perpetrator who did not want to know about the bloody consequences of his deeds.”

Neo-Nazi network in German army larger than previously thought

By Johannes Stern, 15 May 2017

According to Der Spiegel, investigations are on-going into seven people allegedly involved in preparing terrorist attacks against high-profile German politicians.

Germany resurrects conscription

By Johannes Stern, 13 May 2017

German politicians and the media have responded to the exposure of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell in the army by calling for the reintroduction of military conscription.

Defence Minister Von der Leyen downplays size of right-wing terrorist cell in German army

By Christoph Vandreier, 12 May 2017

It is becoming increasingly clear that the German army is a hotbed for right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis.

Further arrests of German army personnel in neo-Nazi terror plot

By Christoph Vandreier, 10 May 2017

The right-wing extremist arrested last month for plotting to kill left-wing politicians acted as part of a terror cell with links to a widespread neo-Nazi network within the German army.

Nazi traditions of Germany’s Armed Forces come to the fore

By Peter Schwarz, 9 May 2017

After the arrest of an officer accused of preparing terrorist attacks under the false identity of a refugee, suspicions are growing that he is part of a larger neo-Nazi network.

Defence Minister Von der Leyen apologises for criticizing the German army

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 May 2017

Rather than hold the army leadership to account for having covered up a right-wing terrorist conspiracy, Germany’s defence minister has been forced to kowtow to the general staff after mildly criticising its actions.

German interior minister proposes anti-immigrant and racist “defining German culture”

By Verena Nees, 8 May 2017

The German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière recently published a statement in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper on the issue of a “defining German culture,” which unashamedly promoted bigotry and German exceptionalism.

How the German Army covers up for neo-Nazi terrorist networks

By Christoph Vandreier, 6 May 2017

Evidence is mounting that a German army officer arrested for plotting a terror attack was part of a sizable neo-Nazi network whose existence has been covered up by authorities.

May Day 2017

The Growth of German Militarism and the Rewriting of History

By Sven Wurm, 4 May 2017

In order to wage new imperialist wars and commit fresh crimes, history must be rewritten, and the criminal role of German imperialism minimised and denied.

Dangerous developments in Germany

Neo-Nazi network in German army exposed

By Peter Schwarz, 4 May 2017

The arrest of a German army officer suspected of plotting the assassination of leftist politicians and high-ranking state officials has exposed the operations of neo-Nazi forces at the highest levels of the German military.

May Day 2017

The Crisis of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 4 May 2017

Europe is bristling with social tensions, as the danger of war between Europe and the United States, and within Europe itself, is growing.

German army officer arrested for planning terror attack

By Peter Schwarz, 2 May 2017

The arrest of a 28-year-old German army officer suspected of planning a far-right terrorist attack shows that the Bundeswehr provides fertile ground for extreme right-wing elements.

Alternative for Germany moves further to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 26 April 2017

Founded in 2013 as an anti-Euro party, the AfD has completed its transformation into a far-right, ethno-nationalist organisation.

Demonstrators in Cologne support IYSSE fight for freedom of expression at Humboldt University

By our reporters, 26 April 2017

The IYSSE and SEP distributed thousands of copies of "The Defence of Historical Truth and the Fight against the Alternative for Germany (AfD)" in Cologne during demonstrations against the AfD’s party conference.

Open letter from the IYSSE to the president of Humboldt University in Berlin

22 April 2017

Sabine Kunst, the president of Humboldt University, has portrayed professors Jörg Baberowski and Herfried Münkler as the victims of a “defamation campaign” in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

German military historian calls for army leadership to assume more political power

By Johannes Stern, 17 April 2017

The guest column by military historian Sönke Neitzel was a direct appeal to the German general staff to intervene once again into foreign and domestic affairs.