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Germany vows to punish soldiers accused of singing antisemitic songs

Minister’s pledge follows report that troops stationed in Lithuania sang racist songs at a hotel party and that one tried to sexually assault another while he slept

Soldiers attend an oath-taking ceremony of the German army at the Defence Ministry in Berlin, Germany, July 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Illustrative: Soldiers attend an oath-taking ceremony of the German army at the Defense Ministry in Berlin, Germany, July 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN — Germany’s defense minister on Tuesday vowed to severely punish soldiers stationed in Lithuania who were accused of singing racist and antisemitic songs, if the allegations turned out to be true.

“Whatever happened is in no way acceptable,” Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said.

Those implicated would be “vigorously prosecuted and punished,” she added.

The Spiegel Online news site had on Monday reported that German soldiers in Lithuania sang racist and antisemitic songs during a party at a hotel in April.

One had also sought to sexually assault another soldier while he was asleep, a scene which was caught on film, said Spiegel.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany onJune 9, 2021. (Markus Schreiber / POOL / AFP)

Three soldiers have been removed from the contingent stationed in the Baltic country and an investigation is ongoing to identify other suspects, said the report.

The German armed forces have been repeatedly rocked by allegations of right-wing extremism within their ranks.

Kramp-Karrenbauer last year ordered the partial dissolution of the KSK commando force after revelations that some of its members harbored neo-Nazi sympathies.

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