German military

Can the German military celebrate its history?

Picture German troops marching in front of the Reichstag in Berlin. Their polished black boots hit the ground in rhythm with the drums. Night has fallen and the soldiers are carrying burning torches that cast an eerie glow over the spectacle. But these aren’t Nazis. This ceremony was held last Wednesday in honour of Germany’s Afghan campaign. The inevitable furore has overshadowed the purpose of the event — to remember the 59 German fallen — exposing the dilemma of the German armed forces: can they have a sense of history and tradition despite their unforgivable role in Nazi crimes? German politicians have been busy debating the purpose of the Afghan