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Europe
German officer dismissed for racism
Instructor stripped of rank and pay after insult to "African Americans".
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2007 13:41 GMT
The German army has dealt with a number of scandals in recent years that have damaged its image [AP]

The German defence ministry has dismissed a German army instructor who was filmed ordering a recruit to imagine he was firing a machine gun at "African Americans" who were insulting his mother.

 

He said the non-commissioned officer, whose name is being withheld, was stripped of his rank and pay.

"The Bundeswehr [Germany army] has dismissed him," a defence ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

 

The ministry is still investigating a second soldier who filmed the training scenes. On Monday, the ministry condemned the scene depicted in the video footage as "completely unacceptable".

German television broadcasters aired the grainy 90-second video clip at the weekend.

The instructor says in German while a recruit lying on the ground starts firing his gun: "You're in the Bronx, a black van pulls up in front of you and three African-Americans get out and start really insulting your mother ... now do something!"

 

The soldier fires his machine gun and yells an obscenity several times in English between bursts. The instructor then tells the soldier to curse even more loudly.

 

Scandalous

 

In New York, Adolfo Carrion, Bronx borough president, has demanded an apology.

 

"The German government obviously has work to do to correct something that is insidious," he said.

 

"Clearly these folks don't know anything about African-Americans or the Bronx."

 

The German army has had to deal with a number of embarrassing scandals in recent years that damaged its image.

 

These include the publication of pictures of German soldiers in Afghanistan who took pictures of each other holding skulls and allegations that torture has been used during training.

 

The investigation is likely to continue for several weeks.

Source:
Agencies
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