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Germany searching all army barracks for Nazi memorabilia

Germany has called for the inspection of all the country’s army barracks after memorabilia commemorating the Nazi army were found in a garrison.

“The General Inspector has instructed that all properties be inspected to see whether rules on dealing with heritage with regard to the Wehrmacht and National Socialism are being observed,” said a German Defense Ministry spokesman on Sunday.

The inspection was called for after the Nazi era memorabilia were found in an army base in southwest Germany after similar items were discovered in the base of an army officer detained for planning extremist attacks.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has stressed that right-wing extremism must be removed from the country’s armed forces. “We must now investigate with all due rigor and with all candor in the armed forces,” she said during a televised interview on Sunday. “The process is starting now, and more is sure to come out. We are not through the worst of it yet.”

Last week, German police arrested a 28-year-old army lieutenant, identified as Franco Albrecht, who had gained asylum by creating a false identity in his home country.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen attends a press conference in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, eastern France, on May 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The soldier, who spoke no Arabic, had been accepted as a refugee and was receiving monthly state benefits. The soldier’s case came to light after Austrian police caught him with a loaded handgun at the Vienna airport in February.

The subsequent investigation found that he had created a fake identity as a Syrian fruit seller called “David Benjamin” in 2015.

Media reports said he kept “death lists” with the names of top politicians, including former president Joachim Gauck, some cabinet ministers, and the Social Democrat interior minister, Heiko Maas.

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