Social media users have spread the false claim that the German armed forces will soon be stationed on the streets.
The misleading rumors suggest that from October 1, soldiers will be patrolling supermarkets for disruptions.” CNNbreakingnews.net has checked the claims for facts.
The false claims spread online in a number of languages, with a post on Telegram receiving over 150,000 likes. Some even thought that the deployment of the army could be a “kind of Gestapo,” in relation to Germany’s secret police from the Nazi era.
While the German army is restructured on October 1, it will not receive any new or extended powers. There is no evidence that soldiers will now regularly patrol the streets.
In June, the German Ministry of Defence announced that it would create a new corps to combine the tasks of “territorial management” in a single committee.
The new authority will not only be responsible for military operations — such as national security or disaster relief — but also for organising allied NATO troops in Germany.
Government officials have stressed that the move “has no intention of increasing armed use on the roads,” and that it does not respond to “expected riots.”
“The establishment of the Territorial Command for the Bundeswehr should not increase the use of the Bundeswehr in civil protection, nor does it change the legal basis for deploying the Bundeswehr in the ‘interior of the country’,” said a spokesman.
The German constitution, which states when the army can be deployed in the country, also remains unchanged.
According to Article 35 of the Constitution, soldiers may only be deployed locally in the country to help the police and “provide assistance in the event of a natural disaster or a particularly serious accident.”
The armed forces may also be deployed under certain circumstances in accordance with Articles 87a and 91 to “avert an immediate threat to the existence or the free democratic order of the Federation.” Such an order may also be repealed by the German Senate (Bundesrat).
Germany says restructuring the military into a combined body will help them better prepare for future crises.
During the pandemic, soldiers helped test citizens for the virus at German airports, while the armed forces also helped build temporary bridges following the floods in the Ahr Valley in 2021.