Fury as German army’s Instagram account shares a photo a Nazi-era military uniform with a caption hailing it as ‘retro’
- The Bundeswehr’s official Instagram account posted the picture on Tuesday
- It labelled the uniform as ‘retro’ and said military uniforms were ‘haute couture’
- The post has since been deleted and the army said today that it was ‘very sorry’
The German army was today forced to apologise after posting a photo online of a Nazi military uniform which it hailed as ‘retro’.
The picture of the uniform, complete with two Iron Crosses and the Nazi swastika, appeared on the Bundeswehr’s official Instagram account yesterday.
It was labelled ‘retro’ and came with the caption: ‘To this day, military style elements remain in haute couture’.
The post has since been deleted and the army today admitted that it had made an ‘unacceptable mistake’.
Scandal: The German army was today forced to apologise after posting a photo online of a Nazi military uniform which it hailed as ‘retro’
Green MP Tobias Lindner reacted with fury, saying: ‘The Bundeswehr must immediately clarify how something like this ended up on its Instagram account.’
In a statement today, the army said it was trying to tell a story about military uniforms and fashion but failed to provide proper historical context.
‘We posted a picture of a Wehrmacht uniform that was being used for a film,’ they said on Twitter.
‘The uniform is an exhibit in our military history museum in Dresden. However, we didn’t put it in historical context and added a false and inappropriate caption.
‘The intention was to tell a photographic story about the influence of uniforms on fashion over the last century.
‘Unfortunately, among the large number of photos we prepared, this one was wrongly published. Of course, none of that should have happened.
‘Extremism of any kind is an absolute no-go in the Bundeswehr. We’re now investigation what went wrong and how we can prevent it in future.
The German army (some of whose soldiers are pictured in a file photo, during a military drill last year) was forced to apologise today
‘We’re very sorry. We’re working on restoring the usual quality of what we share.’
The Bundeswehr has repeatedly come under fire in recent years over embarrassing associations with Germany’s Nazi past.
In 2017 an army officer was arrested on suspicion of planning a far-right attack, causing a scandal. The suspect is still awaiting trial.
It later emerged he had expressed far-right views in a master’s thesis in 2014 in which he argued that immigration was causing’ genocide’ – but was not disciplined.
A subsequent search of army premises found that steel helmets and memorabilia of the Nazi-era army were openly displayed at another barracks.
Then-defence minister Ursula von der Leyen ordered the Bundeswehr to cleanse itself of all links to the Wehrmacht.
She also ordered barracks still named after WWII figures, like field marshal Erwin Rommel, to be stripped of their names.