(en) German soldiers beat foreign residents

Thur, 20 Mar 1997 16.35 GMT

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Below is some news compiled by the german A-Infos Group. Robert (for the A-Infos Group in germany)


*Bundeswehr-soldiers beat foreign residents* by A-Infos Group in Germany Collectvie adress: c/o Barrikade, Bismarckstr. 41a 47443 Moers, Germany Fax.: +49-2151-951806, E-Mail.: i-afd_1@anarch.free.de

Detmold/Northrhine-Westfalia: Monday evening (March 17. 1997), nine armed soldiers of the german Bundeswehr wearing uniforms/combat dress and masks attacked foreign residents in the city of Detmold, in the north of Germany. Apparently they had been out to beat up foreign people, as they asked several people in the city where they could find foreigners. They attacked three young men, two Turkish and one Italian, with baseball clubs and knives and injured them, shouting racist slogans like "bloody foreigners (get) out of Germany". The police was alarmed by people passing by and arrested six men a short while after the attack and another three on Tuesday.

According to the so called ministery of defense, the nine persons are volunteers who joined forces only in January and are all between 19 and 21 years of age. They had applied for SFOR-forces in Bosnia and were accepted. Defense minister Ruehe said he had to admit that selection for these troops were not thorough enough. The soldiers have been arrested, six are still in arrest. According to the police, they were currently being trained for the SFOR-mission in army barracks in Augustdorf near Detmold named "Generalfeldmarschall Rommel Kaserne" (Rommel was field- marshal of the Nazi forces in Africa since 1940 and later accused of complicity in an attempt on Hitlers life in 1944). They claimed that the reason for this attack was a conflict with foreign residents two weeks ago.

Defense minister Ruehe - who in his youth was himself a member of the neo- nazi youth organisation Wiking-Jugend (Wiking Youth) which has been outlawed for being anticonstitutional in the meantime - claimed to condemn the act but pointed out that it was not the army which contributed to extremist thought as the young men had only been in the army for two months but lived in this society for 20 years. Ruehe is a Christian Democrat (CDU): this party up has in the past always denied right wing extremism was a problem in German society.

Only a week ago the minister responsible for the military service Claire Marienfeld (also CDU) had denied the possibility of right-wing-extremist structures within the Bundeswehr. According to her, 44 suspected cases of right-wing extremist attacks carried out by members of the Bundeswehr with 56 possible culprits are no sign of a general danger.

Public Prosecutors are investigating the case on charges of building an armed gang, breach of peace and injury.

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