• Germany's news in English

Politicians honour fallen Bundeswehr soldiers

DDP/The Local · 24 Apr 2010, 13:44

Published: 24 Apr 2010 13:44 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Bundeswehr soldiers – aged 24, 32, 33 and 38 – were killed on April 15 in two different attacks in the northern Afghanistan province of Baghlan.

Their coffins were draped with German flags during the church service, held in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.

Walter Wakenhut, military general vicar, spoke of sorrow and shock, but also anger at the attacks.

The question of making sense from the deaths of the four men could not be avoided, he said.

But he said they would not have died in vain if the aim of a more just world had been brought a little closer.

Guttenberg said they had died in the knowledge that they were protecting the freedom and lives of all Germans – particularly in Afghanistan.

He also asked the men’s relatives for forgiveness, yet said the armed forces had to expect further casualties.

“After the engagement on April 15 and on Good Friday, what we perhaps did not want to accept for too long, has become clear – death and injury have become companions to our missions, and they will remain so in the coming years – probably not only in Afghanistan.”

But he said death and injury could not become routine.

Story continues below…

German politicians often have difficulty justifying their part in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, particularly after a German-ordered air strike which killed many Afghan civilians last year.

Speaking last week after the attacks in which the four men were killed, Guttenberg said one could talk of the situation in Afghanistan as being war – but stressed this was not the official view.

He justified the operation there as being one to secure a region where destabilisation would have an enormous affect on large parts of the world.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

21:06 April 24, 2010 by wmm208
RIP to these brave men and their families.
07:25 April 25, 2010 by wenddiver
Pray for these men and their families, who have so nobly fought on the side of Freedom against intollerance, injustice, totailtarianism, terrorism, and ignorance in general. Germany can be proud that her men are in the front lines of the war against terrorism.

When Freedom called, they bore the battle. Let no Free man or woman forget them.
01:25 April 26, 2010 by FN Cee
Until the international "activities" of participating countries are declared wars and are fought to win, achieve complete victory and completely destroy the countries which are helping terrorists or conducting otherwise warlike "activities," not one soldier from any country should be deployed or put in harm's way.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd