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Bundeswehr launches investigation into hazing

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Bundeswehr launches investigation into hazing
Photo: DPA
08:36 CET+01:00
Reports of ritual hazing at a Bundeswehr mountain infantry training camp surfaced on Wednesday, spurring Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to urge an investigation into the mistreatment of young recruits.

A young soldier who trained at the camp in Mittenwald, Bavaria has come forward to describe hazing that included recruits being forced to drink alcohol until they were sick, eat raw pig liver, and conduct climbing exercises in the nude before their fellow soldiers, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

Germany's military commissioner Reinhold Robbe was informed of the incidents and how soldiers were forced to take part in the dares to better their position in the camp.

“The rituals were performed among the ranks,” a spokesperson from the Mittenwald base confirmed with news agency DPA, adding that the senior recruits expected younger ones to take part “to prove they were real mountain soldiers.”

The spokesperson went on to say that several guilty parties had been named in an investigation that began in early February, though some no longer belonged to the military.

Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who served himself at the Mittenwald camp during his military training, told broadcaster ZDF that he wanted to see “clarification, stoppage and consequences enacted.”

Meanwhile Robbe said he believed the report points to similar problems of a larger dimension within the Bundeswehr.

“If these rituals are connected to bodily harm, or when recruits under the special protection of their superiors were mishandled, the there will be no tolerance,” Robbe told ZDF. “Then everything must be revealed."

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