• Germany edition
 
Defence minister tells soldiers 'stop whining'
Photo: DPA

Defence minister tells soldiers 'stop whining'

Published: 25 Feb 2013 07:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Feb 2013 07:32 GMT+01:00

In an interview with Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, de Maizière said the German public had become more supportive of soldiers in the Bundeswehr.

But he added that many soldiers did not see this, and were desperate for approval. "They have the understandable, but often exaggerated desire for appreciation. They have perhaps become practically addicted to it," said de Maizière.

"Simply stop craving recognition," he said. "One does not get the appreciation of others by asking for it, but by working well."

The action was predictably unhappy, with Ulrich Kirsch, head of the Bundeswehr Association said the minister's choice of words were "disappointing and absolutely inappropriate.

"German soldiers do not crave for anything - neither recognition nor anything else."

If soldiers had a greater need for respect and recognition, it was because for a long time they had received too little of these things, he said.

Defence spokesman for the opposition Social Democrats Rainer Arnold, said that apart from the unfortunate choice of words, he could understand de Maizière's comments.

"One must sometimes explain to soldiers that it is no disrespect of the army when people regard military operations sceptically," he told Monday's Süddeutsche Zeitung.

De Maizière was in Turkey at the weekend visiting the 300 German troops stationed there with Patriot rockets units as part of a NATO operation to support Turkish defences near the Syrian border.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

09:26 February 25, 2013 by twisted
Soldiers today ain't what they used to be. Nobody gave a damn about what I thought in 1968....just do your job and shut up.
10:09 February 25, 2013 by Sastry.M
Institutions of military now a days are made as politicized corporates and soldiers are deployed for similar gains rather than defending honor of the nation they represent.
11:43 February 25, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
Perhaps Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière who offended German soldiers by suggesting they should concentrate on their work, should do the same himself!

Following World War Two, it was agreed by all concerned, that Germany should never be allowed again, to send armed forces into other countries to fight wars. The German army was founded on the basis of defence, not aggression.

Since Maizière has taken over, the Bundeswehr has done just the opposite. Troops are being sent into quite unnecessary conflicts, without any good reason whatsoever, but at the same time they would be completely unable to defend their own nation from most modern forms of attack.

Such a defence Minister is not only a danger to his own country, but to the NATO alliance as a whole, which is already suffering from incapable leadership and sense of direction.
14:49 February 25, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
They will be getting sent to Afghanistan on an internship or mini job soon.
17:35 February 25, 2013 by bwjijsdtd
Well Mr. Defence Minister, whether you know it or not, it is a solders right to bitch and complain and has been going on a hell of a long time ...
17:42 February 25, 2013 by auslanderus
From what I have seen of the German Bundeswehr, they could not fight there way out of a wet paper bag. There poorly trained, poorly equiped and in what army except German can you leave after spening a year in it? Be real, you want an Army, then train it like it is suppose to be an not like a bunch of babies and whime when there in the cold or when they have to have there hair cut. The Army is suppose to make men out of boys.
17:54 February 25, 2013 by johnny108
I spent a year in afghanistan- in the US army- saw lots of German soldiers on the base- complaining about their 6 month long deployments, and drinking beer. Never once saw them in contact with the enemy....
13:23 February 26, 2013 by DonBacardiPR
Why are they complaining?? Well stated Mr. Minister. You should deploy them a little bit more & have them contribute to world security instead of them spending so much time driving their Fahrschule (driving school) truck around town. Just seems like that's all they ever do.
Today's headlines
35 hurt as trains collide in southern Germany
A Deutsche Bahn train. File photo: DPA

35 hurt as trains collide in southern Germany

Thirty-five people were injured, four of them seriously, when a passenger train collided with a freight train late Friday near Mannheim station in southern Germany, the operator Deutsche Bahn said. READ  

German hospitals ready for Ebola patients
Hamburg's UKE isolation ward is ready to take patients. Photo: DPA

German hospitals ready for Ebola patients

Germany's high-tech isolation wards remained on alert on Friday, ready to receive Ebola patients should they be required to. German airports seemed less prepared for the potential dangers of the viral epidemic, however. READ  

Two die in Bremen plane crash
The fire caused by the crash. Photo: DPA

Two die in Bremen plane crash

UPDATE: Two men died on Friday afternoon when a plane crashed in Bremen, causing a fire and a series of explosions in a warehouse near the city's airport. READ  

Merkel's party mutinies over tax cuts
Merkel in Münster last year at a meeting of her party's workers' wing. Photo: DPA

Merkel's party mutinies over tax cuts

Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a rebellion from within her own party on Friday after an unlikely coalition formed in favour of tax cuts for workers on lower incomes. READ  

Expat Dispatches
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Kleingärten in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

'Look at those German shanty towns!'

Visitors to Germany can sometimes be confused by the country's love of allotments in cities, known as a Kleingarten. Teacher and blogger Kathleen Ralf tells us what it's all about. READ  

Lightning rods further delay Berlin Airport
Closed until further notice: Berlin's troubled new airport. Photo: DPA

Lightning rods further delay Berlin Airport

Too few lightning rods and an undersized emergency generator have prevented part of Berlin's new airport from opening. Safety inspectors refused to sign off on the airport's north pier, thwarting progress on the massively delayed construction project. READ  

Two thirds of Berlin's tourist flats now illegal
Photo: DPA

Two thirds of Berlin's tourist flats now illegal

Two thirds of Berlin's 12,000 tourist apartments advertised on sites such as Airbnb were being run illegally from Friday following a law change, leaving hosts open to potential punishment. READ  

Lost goat halts Munich Airport trains
Fritzi underneath the train. Photo: Freiwillige Feuerwehr Unterschließheim/DPA

Lost goat halts Munich Airport trains

A lost pet goat called Fritzi halted trains to Munich Airport and had to be rescued from the tracks after suffering a concussion. READ  

Germany crowned U19 European Champions
Photo: EPA/Tibor Illyes HUNGARY OUT

Germany crowned U19 European Champions

Germany’s U19 football team added to a glorious summer of sport for the country by winning the European Championships in Budapest on Thursday night. READ  

World War I anniversary
100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak
August 1914. German soldiers march off to war in France. Photo: DPA

100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak

A hundred years ago on Friday Germany declared war on Russia and was preparing for an attack on France in the hope that Britain would stay neutral. Four years on, famine was ravaging the country and two million soldiers had been killed on the battlefield. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
Meet the man allowed to grow his own cannabis
Photo: DPA
Society
Your lottery numbers are 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Five reasons to visit Oktoberfest (and five not to)
Photo: DPA
Society
Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Have Your Say: Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,254
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd