On Wednesday (October 13) in Berlin, in front of the Reichstag, a reminder was given of the Bundeswehr’s mission in Afghanistan, which has now ended. The 59 soldiers who perished during this time were commemorated and the importance of the mission was reminded in front of political prominence.
This also included a traditional torchlight march as part of the Bundeswehr’s tattoo. Images that, with a trained eye for media literacy (and numerous ZDF documentaries on the subject of National Socialism) could awaken bad memories of another time. At least that’s how TV satirist Jan Böhmermann felt.
“Torchlight marches in front of the Reichstag – let’s agree to disagree,” he wrote on Twitter. “I think torchlight marches by uniformed men in front of the Reichstag are right, really sucks.”
Looking for new tattoo symbols
In another tweet, the comedian added that everyone was uncomfortable with torchlight marches, but everyone still demanded a respectful ritual for the Bundeswehr. In this respect, the “land of tinkerers” could come up with a new “Zapfenstreich innovation”.
If everyone is ~ uncomfortable ~ with torchlight marches, but everyone still wants a respectful ritual and a ceremony for the Bundeswehr:
🔥 WHY DOES THE LAND OF TÜFTLER 🇩🇪 NOT EVER IMAGINE A PIPE INNOVATION ???! IT CANNOT BE SO DIFFICULT !!?!?! ?? 🔥
– Prof. Dr. Jan boehmann 🦠🤨 (@janboehm) October 13, 2021
Böhmermann was not the only one who expressed his discomfort on the Internet about the Bundeswehr ritual. For example, Green Party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele wrote on Twitter: “What is the militaristic ritual from Prussia and the Nazi era? Over 175,000 people – mostly civilians – died in the war. Nothing is good in Afghanistan. What is there to celebrate. “
While in the case of Jan Böhmermann there was not only some approval but also criticism of his emotional statement, the Ministry of Defense has now also responded to the discussion on the Internet. “Comparisons with Germany’s darkest chapter are disappointing,” said the Ministry’s Twitter page on Thursday (October 14). The Bundeswehr is a parliamentary army. “As this, it has its place in the midst of society – on special occasions also in front of the Reichstag building.” An explanatory video on the historical significance of the tattoo was added.
#wehrmacht trending on Twitter
After CDU politician Peter Tauber approached Jan Böhmermann directly in his request to find a new tattoo ritual (“My goodness. If you like, I’ll explain the historical context to you. Obviously you need urgent advice anyway.”) he replied with the implicit reference to the fact that the pictures were taken abroad with a feeling of uncanny: “The pictures from yesterday evening work really well, even without historical context. Worldwide!”
Hundreds of Twitter users took part in Jan Böhmermann’s Twitter post alone. Under the hashtag #wehrmacht, the discourse also found a very clear direction over the course of Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.