A Student of History

April 14, 2007

German machine gunners aim at Blacks

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 3:35 pm

Bundeswehr Logo.svg

This is disturbing, to say the least:”A video showing a German army instructor telling one of his soldiers to envision African-Americans in the Bronx while firing his machine gun was broadcast Saturday on national television,” reports CNN.com.  “The video, coming after scandals involving photos of German soldiers posing with skulls in Afghanistan and the abuse of recruits by instructors, seemed likely to raise more questions about training practices in Germany’s conscript army.”  The report goes on to quote a german official who says:

“We can no longer talk about an isolated case,” said Lt. Juergen Rose of the Darmstaedter Signal, a group of current and former army officers and sergeants who independently review military procedures.  Things like this don’t happen in the army on an everyday basis, but unfortunately in recent years there have been a number of comparable incidents.”

The Defense Ministry said the video was shot in July 2006 at barracks in the northern town of Rendsburg and that the army has been aware of it since January.

Besides the obvious racism here, my question is: Why would German recruits be motivated to perform at higher standards in machine gun training by imagining they were firing at African-Americans in Detroit?  I just don’t get it. When I was in the army in the 1980s, the SGT’s used to yell stuff about Russians, since they were (we assumed at the time) our chief enemy.  Are Michigan blacks regarded as a threat to Germans?  I don’t think so!  I still don’t get it….

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