The Radical Right and the German military after 1945

Beginn des Projektes: April 2021

PhD project
Part of the project "The Radical Right in Germany, 1945-2000" supported by the Volkswagen Foundation

Since 2017, there have been growing debates in Germany and in international media about activities of the Radical Right within the German military. These discussions have been primarily prompted by: the case of Franco A., a former officer of the German Bundeswehr suspected of plotting right-wing terror attacks; a far-right network of reservists, police officers and other authorities, code-named “Hannibal”, preparing for “Day X”; and, growing far-right extremism within the ranks of Germany’s elite special forces (KSK). This project argues that these incidents are not only related to the recent global rise of radical nationalism, but also point to activities of the Radical Right reaching back to the early post-war period. Through archival research, this project analyses, on the one hand, different practices of right-wing soldiers within the armies of West and East Germany. Those practices include, among others, expressions and acts of racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Communism, or revisionism, the glorification of National Socialism, campaigning for right-wing parties like the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), even right-wing terrorism. On the other hand, the project takes a closer look at how the German authorities on both sides of the Wall responded to such incidents and structures, in order to understand how these exemplify the relationship between the state and the Radical Right after 1945.

Jakob Saß

Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

E-Mail: sass [at] zzf-potsdam.de

Forschung

The Radical Right and the German military after 1945

Beginn des Projektes: April 2021

PhD project
Part of the project "The Radical Right in Germany, 1945-2000" supported by the Volkswagen Foundation

Since 2017, there have been growing debates in Germany and in international media about activities of the Radical Right within the German military. These discussions have been primarily prompted by: the case of Franco A., a former officer of the German Bundeswehr suspected of plotting right-wing terror attacks; a far-right network of reservists, police officers and other authorities, code-named “Hannibal”, preparing for “Day X”; and, growing far-right extremism within the ranks of Germany’s elite special forces (KSK). This project argues that these incidents are not only related to the recent global rise of radical nationalism, but also point to activities of the Radical Right reaching back to the early post-war period. Through archival research, this project analyses, on the one hand, different practices of right-wing soldiers within the armies of West and East Germany. Those practices include, among others, expressions and acts of racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Communism, or revisionism, the glorification of National Socialism, campaigning for right-wing parties like the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), even right-wing terrorism. On the other hand, the project takes a closer look at how the German authorities on both sides of the Wall responded to such incidents and structures, in order to understand how these exemplify the relationship between the state and the Radical Right after 1945.

Jakob Saß

Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

E-Mail: sass [at] zzf-potsdam.de

Forschung