German prosecutors have launched a probe into claims that members of the country’s elite Special Forces team performed Nazi salutes, sung to a far-right band and offered a woman as the “main prize” at a farewell party for their departing brother in arms.
The inquiry was confirmed by Michael Pfohl, head of the state attorney’s office in Tuebingen. “We are examining the incident,” Nicolaus Wegele, a spokesperson for the attorney’s office told Deutsche Welle.
The bizarre farewell party, involving some sixty members of Germany’s elite Special Forces unit KSK, took place on April 27 at a firing range outside Stuttgart, ARD reported Thursday citing a source named Anna.
Anna, whose real name has been withheld, told the broadcaster she became an eyewitness of the disturbing event after one of the KSK soldiers suggested she serve as the “main prize” for his outgoing company leader. The “main prize” implied sex to which the woman had no objection, the ARD said.
“Now we are thinking about what we can do for the boss,” the soldier reportedly wrote to her via WhatsApp. “He will have to run a course, then you will be his prize. He will take in into the tent and will truly let off steam with you. Believe me, that’s exactly your thing”.
The night party involved some sixty KSK soldiers the eyewitness claimed. A response from the German military cited by the broadcaster reportedly said the elite soldiers staged “Roman Medieval games” that involved “elimination of melons and pineapples with a sword, cutting of a wooden trunk with an ax, throwing pig heads and overcoming an obstacle course.” However, the awkward party was not only about ‘killing fruits.’
“Later on, they played far-right rock songs featuring lyrics like ‘Poor Germany, what had happened to you’,” the source said. She then searched the song text and found it was penned by ‘Sturmwehr’, a notorious rock band which spreads nationalist agendas while glorifying the Nazi past.
Many soldiers seemed to be familiar with the band’s lyrics as they sang along. “They performed Nazi salutes multiple times during refrain, and it happened quite euphorically,” Anna said, adding that the man in charge was telling his fellow officers when to raise their right hands. “This is what four of them were doing,” the witness said.
Later, another KSK member wrote to her that he was not comfortable with the Nazi salutes but did not know they would follow.
The German military has launched in internal investigation following the incident, ARD and Der Spiegel reported.
“According to the ongoing investigation, your allegations of anti-constitutional expressions in the form of words, images or actions have not been confirmed. Given the pending inquiry, I ask for your understanding that we cannot reveal any further details on the investigation,” a Bundeswehr official said in a statement to ARD.
Founded in 1996, the KSK is frequently deployed to the Middle East and Afghanistan. It is one of Germany’s most secretive Special Operations units, whose functions are similar to those of the US Delta Force and Britain’s SAS.
Earlier this year, a German army probe revealed multiple neo-Nazi sympathizers within its ranks. In May, it emerged that Nazi-era military awards, propaganda posters, and steel Wehrmacht helmets were found at an army barracks in western Germany. The bizarre find triggered extensive searches at Bundeswehr’s military installations across the country.