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Bundeswehr slammed for children's 'Mitrovica' war games camp

The Local · 6 Jun 2011, 11:28

Published: 06 Jun 2011 11:28 GMT+02:00

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The incident took place two weekends ago at in Bad Reichenhall in Bavaria, during a day where German army barracks were open to the public, according to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Children were given dummy weapons and the fake village was made complete with bullet holes, blackened windows and smoke bombs, all designed to make the exercise more realistic, Bild reported.

The real problem, however, was the mock village’s name: 'Little Mitrovica.' During World War II the German military controlled part of the real Mitrovica in Kosovo, forcing 300 Roma into concentration-camp type work and eventually killing them.

The town was also the the site of serious ethnic violence in 1999 as Albanians in the region attempted to break away from Serbia. During the war in Kosovo, thousands of Roma were also expelled.

One possible explanation for the name choice could be that Bundeswehr troops were stationed in Kosovo as part of NATO's KFOR mission in the now independent province.

Objections to the children's camp were first raised by the radical leftist group Rabatz, which called the incident a “scandal” in a statement.

“This is a disgusting insult to the victims” in Mitrovica, said spokeswoman Anna Jade. She called for those responsible to resign and also questioned allowing children to play with fake weapons.

A Bundeswehr spokesman told Bild that officials were investigating the matter.

Story continues below…

“We’ll let the process determine if there were violations at the open house day,” he said.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:29 June 6, 2011 by harcourt
Words fail me, absolutely fail me, this is so crass and irresponsible. Forget the historical connection with Mitrovica which obviously the children had no knowledge of neither I suspect did the military ( this is the problem with not teaching recent history in school 20-30yrs ago). No the greatest mistake is to encourage children to play war games, whilst Germany struts around the world stage saying "we must keep out of any military action because now we are a peaceful country and deplore militarism" !!
13:25 June 6, 2011 by crunchy2k

Crass and irresponsible is your post. Its normal for kids to play cowboys and indians, armymen, Romans and barbarians. The article states it was a radical attention getting leftist group that cried foul. And goes on to point out there were multiple reasons that name could have been chosen. The simplest reason the name could have been used is the person that named it has family from there. Maybe that person doesn't have the macabre interest your have in death.

Your post makes me suspect your fitness for being a parent.
14:10 June 6, 2011 by harcourt
crunchy2k what sort of person critizes someone for decrying the encouragement of children playing war games?? The fact that you support the childrens games you mention tells me a lot about you !! I would be interested whether, if you lived in America, you would you support the current gun laws there??
14:16 June 6, 2011 by DOZ
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:48 June 6, 2011 by marimay

Good riddance, then.

Btw, pharmacy called, you can pick up your meds.
19:27 June 6, 2011 by MJMH
The left-wing cries whenever a child gets exposed to a taste of reality (yes war is reality and so is children playing war games) and yet when there is a meeting or a march of any political persuasion other than the hard left, they disrupt and use violence so the average person can't hear a different opinion.
10:21 June 7, 2011 by Zobirdie
@Harcourt - Well... I am NOT american (and what the frack bigotry there!) and I did play war games as a child and I turned out just fine. I have to agree that kids will play cowboys and indians, Axis and allies, and all manner of other 1 side vs the other games. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It doesnt hurt anyone. It doesnt teach children to be violent.

Frankly, I think this looks fun and would have loved to participate. I think the überleft needs to get its panties out of the bunch and relax. Perhaps an unfortunate choice of name, but there are hardly any places that the Bundeswehr has been where they could chose names from as an example. Can you imagine the out-cry if they had called it Klein Kursk or Klein Marne or Klein Arnheim? :D

I would say that your comments tell us a lot about you as well.
10:43 June 7, 2011 by crunchy2k

"crunchy2k what sort of person critizes(sic) someone for decrying the encouragement of children playing war games??"

I'm a grandparent of two lovely kids. I take issue with those that would like to impress their neo-concepts of righteousness on others. Is that what you guessed about me?

This play acting in the article promotes discipline and teamwork, plus self-pride. I can't see where this is anything more than the scouting organizations.

And as for the gun laws in America, the scotus Heller vs. D.C. decision says it all. The misguided draconian gun laws that stem from the rights grabbers of the 1920s (ever hear of Prohibition?) are falling across the United States. Reasonable gun laws are taking their place through court actions now.
12:46 June 7, 2011 by harcourt
Zobirdie: You say "I turned out just fine " - I think that's for other people to judge !! And when you say " There is absolutely nothing wrong with children playing war games .....etc. Are you sure? - have you done any research?

Also when you say that my comments tell everyone a lot about me thats fine by me however your remarks about " the überleft" tells me that you may be slightly to the right of centre in your thinking.

crunchy2k: I think your view that children play-acting war games is not much different than scouting is a little naive. On the US gun laws you obviously know about them in detail, however what in your opinion is " reasonable gun laws ". You must know that the Gun Lobby in America is extremely strong as is the motorists lobby in Germany, and as such almost impossible to shift in their views.
14:46 June 7, 2011 by authun

Let me take the liberty of tweaking your moral compass by mentioning that there would not be such an outcry over the naming of an exercise after a site of conflict as opposed to a place noted for numerous human atrocities, one of which was conducted by a former version of the organization putting on the exercise.

It reeks from an insulting lack of common sense, discretion and, clearly, consideration.
14:57 June 7, 2011 by marimay
I was just about to say exactly that authun. In simpler terms, for sure. Haha.
02:26 June 8, 2011 by wenddiver
How can you raise a boy without playing Army? When I was a boy my Father took me to Washington, DC, and we went to see the US Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, The Marine Corps Memorial, The Statue of Andrew Jackson in the park in front of the White House, The Old Guard, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Marine Corps Band, George Washinton's home at Mount Vernon, Manasas Battlefield, etc. How really wonderful it was, I was never so glad that I had been born a boy instead of a girl as a child. Here was the real history of Freedom, Struggle, the Building of the Nation, Glory on a scale almost unimmaginable. How could you deny a Child all that. If war pay is done right, it is a challenge to youth and a Moral standard to achieve. I don't think naming the Game area incorrectly can take away from that. The Bundeswehr should do more not less to interact with youth, so they have some values.
07:00 June 8, 2011 by harcourt
wenddiver: You seem to exhibit all the symptoms of having been brain-washed into to the military, I guess American. This is what happens in any ideology, religion etc. when taken to the extreme, the individual cannot tolerate any argument against what he/she believes in. Basically because they cannot think outside of the box. But then that is the purpose of the "indoctrination "into all those spheres, to obey commands and teachings blindly without questioning them. Some would say with the military that is essential in the height of battle. There may be some truth in that.
12:35 June 8, 2011 by wenddiver
@Harcourt- I pity you and the other people who do not know what it is like to spend time with other Men who would gladly give their life to save yours.

How meaningless that Flag must be when you don't know anybody who ever died to protect it.

What does the word Freedom mean to people who have no pain or sacrafice to associate with it.

I can not imagine what it would be like to spend a whole life in a College Office or a cube at an Insurance Office, why don't you think boys play at that.

No I think you people who used your life to make money for some corporation were brainwashed.

In the end, what did you do that really mattered in your life.
14:43 June 8, 2011 by harcourt
wenddiver :-

Your quotes appear to come directly from some sort of military textbook. On one point however I agree with you, people who use their lives to make money are sick.
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