Public vow in Berlin: Bundeswehr celebrates in "middle of society" - n-tv.de
Recruits pay their vows in front of the Bundestag and in several other public places on the 64th anniversary of the Bundeswehr's founding. The pompous scenario by German standards is intended to demonstrate that the army is anchored in society.
The Bundeswehr celebrated its 64th anniversary with several public pledges from recruits. One of the events took place in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin, where around 400 soldiers had gathered. President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble and Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer also took part. In addition to Berlin, there were public pledges at six other locations. The date was deliberately chosen: the Bundeswehr was founded on November 12, 1955.
"We have been living in peace for almost 75 years, but this peace cannot be taken for granted," said Schäuble in his speech. He justified the keeping of public vows by emphasizing that "the Bundeswehr has a firm place in our free society". He promised the soldiers that Parliament would carefully consider operational decisions and ensure that the armed forces were adequately equipped.
Kramp-Karrenbauer also promised the recruits "the best possible framework" for their work. For this she would "continue with all her might". However, this is exactly one of the biggest criticisms of the Bundeswehr. Critics complain that ships, vehicles and planes are usually not ready for use. Defense spending has been increasing for years, but the problems have not yet been resolved.
Kramp-Karrenbauer emphasized that for the first time in six years, a vow was taking place in front of the Berlin Reichstag building. It was right to hold the solemn vow in this very place, she said. The Bundeswehr comes "from the center of society and belongs there". It is part of the mission statement of the German army that the soldiers see themselves as "citizens in uniform" and not as "state in the state" as in the Nazi era or in the Empire (1871-1918). & Nbsp;
Nevertheless, public vows are skeptical. Critics said militarism was being publicly displayed. In addition, there are always reports of radical right-wing incidents in the troops. In addition to the celebration in Berlin, there were vows this Tuesday in the Rhineland-Palatinate capital Mainz, in Stralsund (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Rotenburg / Wümme (Lower Saxony), Freyburg (Saxony-Anhalt) and Plön (Schleswig-Holstein). According to the Bundeswehr Association, there are around 150 vows per year.