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German court upholds expulsion of police cadet who used Nazi terminology

  • November 11, 2020

BERLIN, Germany — A German appeals court has upheld the decision of the state of Brandenburg to expel a police academy cadet for using Nazi-related terminology during a class exercise on using the phonetic alphabet during radio calls, authorities said Wednesday.

According to the Berlin-Brandenburg Administrative Court, the cadet phonetically spelled the last name Jung with the German words “Jude,” “untermensch,” Nazi and “gaskammer” or “genozid”: Jew, subhuman, Nazi and gas chamber or genocide.

He was expelled from the academy after the April 2019 incident due to “doubts about his loyalty to the constitution and character,” the court said. The cadet was not named publicly in line with German privacy laws.

In its November 5 decision, the court said the police department in the state that surrounds Berlin was justified in throwing the cadet out of the academy. It said there was other evidence in addition to “the serious misconduct during the radio traffic exercise.”

Last month, Germany’s top security official said a review has produced no evidence of structural far-right extremism in the country’s security forces and only “a small number of confirmed cases.” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said the investigation did not confirm the existence of any far-right apparatus that some critics have alleged has taken root.

Germany has seen a string of far-right scandals involving police and military in recent months.

The security agencies of the country’s 16 states, which have a combined 276,000 employees, investigated 319 suspected cases of internal far-right extremism during a time period of over three years, from January 2017 to March 2020.

Meantime, federal security agencies reported 58 alleged cases among their 109,000 employees during the same time period, while the military’s counter-intelligence agency reported 1,064 suspected cases among its 260,000-person military and civilian workforce.

Based on those initial reports, 34 people were eventually confirmed as being far-right extremists. Twenty-two were police officers, 11 were in the military, and one case was found at the country’s customs authority.

Hundreds of the reported cases are still being investigated, and in several proceedings have been undertaken to discharge the suspected individuals.

In recent months, authorities in several German states have suspended dozens of police officers for taking part in far-right chat groups. Earlier this year, the country’s defense minister disbanded one of the military’s special forces units after numerous allegations of far-right extremism.

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