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Report: Solider Alleges Neo-Nazism

December 21, 1997

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ Adding to allegations of neo-Nazism in Germany’s army, a former recruit claims to have seen regular extreme-rightist offenses in his unit, from toasts to Hitler to racist slogans, a newspaper reported Sunday.

According to the weekly Bild on Sonntag, Christian Krause says at least three non-commissioned officers were neo-Nazis during his service with the 313th Paratrooper Battalion training unit, based in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony.

Defense Minister Volker Ruehe ordered military investigators to inspect the unit over the weekend and report to him Monday.

The 313th was only the latest military unit put under investigation since reports started surfacing this summer of neo-Nazi behavior by German soldiers.

The neo-Nazi scandal has greatly embarrassed the army, which recently started assuming a stronger role after decades of post-World War II restraint. Opposition politicians have called for Ruehe’s resignation, and parliament has announced an investigation into the pervasiveness of neo-Nazism in the military.

Krause, the 21-year-old son of former transportation minister Guenter Krause, says the non-commissioned officers would toast ``the Fuehrer″ on holidays and greet each other with Nazi slogans such as ``Sieg Heil,″ the newspaper reported.

During maneuvers, he said, one non-commissioned officer would call out anti-foreigner slogans _ such as ``Foreigners get out″ and ``Jews must be gassed″ _ and his neo-Nazi comrades would chime in.

It was not immediately clear when the alleged incidents took place.

Ruehe’s spokesman, Hans-Dieter Wichter, said Krause was not himself a neo-Nazi, and that his statements were believed to be true.

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