German elite soldiers investigated over claims of right-wing extremism

The public prosecutor’s office in Tuebingen launched investigations into the German Armed Force’s elite “Commando Special Forces” (Kommando Spezialkraefte)  following public allegations of right-wing extremism within its ranks.

Michael Pfohl, director of the public prosecutions, confirmed that formal proceedings had been launched in response to media reports.
German media ARD, ZDF, Radio Bremen, and NDR all recently reported that members of the elite squad were spotted giving illegal Hitler salutes and listening to potentially-banned music associated with Germany’s Neo-Nazi scene at a going-away party for a colleague.

Speaking on Thursday, Pfohl said that he had only learned of the allegations through the media and emphasized that there was a need to first establish where the incidents had occurred and which judicial authorities were therefore responsible.

The German Armed Forces have also launched their own internal investigation into the matter.

“According to our current state of knowledge, the claims of unconstitutional behavior…could not be confirmed,” an army representative said.

The Commando Special Forces is an elite unit of the German Armed Forces established in 1996, primarily to free and evacuate German hostages in crisis regions.