Reservist in right-wing fraternity: dubious double member

The honorary chairman of the Hamburg Reservist Association of the German Armed Forces is an old man of the far-right fraternity Germania.

Tight right: Members of the Burschenschaft Germania observe a demonstration in front of their house Photo: dpa

The honorary chairman of the Reservist Association of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg, Ramon-Stefan Schmidt, is an old man of the far-right fraternity Germania. An entry in the association register proves that the lieutenant colonel of the reserve was deputy chairman of the fraternity until 2009. For years, the "Teutons" have moved in the far-right spectrum. They have had relations with the NPD and have ties to the Identitarian movement.

In the office of the reservist band, based in the Reichsprasident-Ebert-Kaserne, the reaction is restrained. "I am aware that Mr. Schmidt has a fraternity background," says Managing Director Harald Zeng. But he never asked which fraternity it was. Zeng, who began his military career in the National People’s Army of the former GDR, believes that anyone who was once a member of such a fraternity in his youth should not be condemned across the board. He first wants to know from Schmidt how active he still is as an old man.

Schmidt, a Germania fraternity member, led the state reservist association, which has about 2,200 members, for eight years. To the reference that the Germania is observed by the protection of the constitution at the Elbe, managing director Zeng answers that the reservist federation has clear rules. The connection to the fraternity is now being carefully examined, he says.

The Germania is known to the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) as a "right-wing extremist fraternity," according to answers provided by the German government to small questions from the Left Party in the Bundestag. In 2016, the Bundeswehr already intervened once because of membership in this fraternal life association. A temporary soldier had to leave the Bundeswehr prematurely – also because right-wing rock was found during a search of his room.

"Schmidt belongs dismissed"

In which military tradition the Germania places itself, it leads out on its homepage. Here it presents Karl Mauss as its most famous old man. Mauss was involved in the First and Second World Wars and was also a member of right-wing terrorist Freicorps.

In recent years, the Hamburg Alliance Against the Right has repeatedly pointed out the Germania’s deep far-right connections.

NPD supporters were organized in the beating fraternity and appeared as speakers.

Since 2013, the fraternity itself has increasingly sought political debate.

It advertises with the slogan: "German? Male? Student" to attract new members.

Adolf Hitler awarded him one of the highest orders of the Nazi regime for his "services" on the Eastern Front. "No other fraternity member received a higher award in World War II!" rave the Teutons. Deserters are then also "no heroes!" for them.

"The reservist association and the Bundeswehr should explain as soon as possible how the honorary chairmanship can be explained with such personal connections and ideological role models," says Felix Krebs of the Hamburg Alliance Against the Right. "Mr. Schmidt should be dismissed immediately, just like his younger Germanic brother," he demands.

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