The German military spokesman, who was recalled from Lithuania over the incident, says that ‘shame on all of us’.
Some 30 German soldiers are being recalled from service in Lithuania, with the leaders facing immediate dismissal, accused of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks and sexual violence, a German military spokesman said. .
Troops were in Lithuania as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, providing security to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by blocking Russia.
Der Spiegel previously reported that some German soldiers were so drunk in a hotel that the military police had to be called.
Further investigation found that soldiers had sung a birthday song for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler at an earlier gathering.
The spokesman said that in addition to violating his oath, the soldiers were charged with “crimes with racist and anti-Semitic overtones and showing extremist behavior.” He will return to Germany on Thursday.
“Such behavior is not only unforgivable but also a matter of shame for all of us,” he said.
Much of Germany’s post-war foreign policy has focused on showing atonement for the crimes of Hitler’s Third Reich, which killed millions in the Holocaust of Europe’s Jews, one of the worst crimes in human history.
Several instances where some members of the police and military were found to be showing Nazi sympathies attracted a great deal of attention from the authorities and the media.
Germany’s deployment to the eastern Baltic has raised sensitivity as its troops served there in World War II, where they and members of the German SS committed some of the bloodiest crimes of war in the Soviet Union’s western march.
The investigation also found that 569 rounds of ammunition were missing from the inventory, although this could have been due to incorrect counting of troops at the end of the firing exercise.
The spokesman said the Inspector General of the German military had apologized to his Lithuanian counterpart.