Scandal: Sexual harassment and anti-Semitism among German soldiers

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BERLIN, BM, ($1= 0.84 euros) – German authorities have launched an investigation into sexual harassment, singing anti-Semitic songs, and an alcoholic party at a hotel of German soldiers from an armored infantry unit in Lithuania, part of NATO troops in the area. The German infantry unit has already been withdrawn from Lithuania by order of German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

The signal to the authorities was given on April 30, when a crazy alcoholic party of several soldiers from the German infantry unit took place in a hotel rented by German soldiers in the town of Rukla. German soldiers are not allowed to drink alcohol except at Christmas or New Year. The accusations against the soldiers continue with an investigation into sexual violence against a colleague, harassment, threats of violence, and singing anti-Semitic songs. According to people familiar with the case, a member of the unit’s team reported what happened on April 30 at the Lithuanian hotel, presenting videos from a mobile phone.

According to CBS News, this German infantry unit is part of NATO’s eastern defense flank, which is located near the border with Russia.

The Bundeswehr declined to provide more details about the investigation, the people accused, and any possible complicity of Lithuanian senior officers. According to unconfirmed information, 3 soldiers have been charged so far and an in-depth investigation is underway into whether Lithuanian colleagues of the German soldiers have tried to cover up the scandal. The scandal was officially reported earlier this month, and it was the long period (nearly 30 days) during which there was silence about it that led to the search for sympathetic guilt in Lithuanian senior officers as well.

The Bundeswehr takes these accusations quite seriously, a spokesman for the Operational Command said in an official statement. The spokesman added that there were indications of “misconduct” by German soldiers, including “statements of a radical and anti-Semitic nature”, as well as sexual violence and discrimination against a female soldier on the grounds of her gender.

This obscene behavior and this investigation could lead to a new escalation of Russian Internet trolls, who could use social media to attack what happened and “add extra salt” to the wound of the German military command, or undermine the credibility of NATO forces.

We remind you that it was Russian trolls in 2017 who tried to accuse a German soldier, again positioned in Lithuania, of rape through social networks, but later, during an in-depth investigation, it turned out that the accusations were baseless.

“The misconduct of some soldiers in Lithuania is a slap in the face to anyone who serves the security of our country day after day in the Bundeswehr,” said German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

It guarantees to the German and European public that “severe punishment” awaits all those involved in the scandal, which can lead not only to military prosecution but also to civil prosecution.

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