Young recruits of the German Bundeswehr stand in an honor guard in Berlin, Germany.(Getty Images)
Young recruits of the German Bundeswehr stand in an honor guard in Berlin, Germany.
(Getty Images)

German Military—Starting Them Young

March 18, 2011  •  From
Current Bundeswehr recruiting techniques smack of earlier methods.

This week while reviewing the 1974 bbc World War ii series The World at War, I noticed a segment filmed during the immediate pre-war years featuring the Wehrmacht encouraging parents to introduce their children to military weaponry at a very young age. It was stated that this was part of the design of German propagandists to condition the young, and their parents, to a military mentality in preparation for placing the nation on a war footing.

Thus it was that I was intrigued by a report from stating that the Bundeswehr is currently engaged in efforts to “win over parents to send their children to the army. The online portal of the German Armed Forces writes that recruiting strategists are aiming their efforts more and more at even the personal friends of already active soldiers. The reason for this is the need of the German military to add to its ranks ‘dramatic young blood,’ a need which will be met with a package of extensive measures” (March 17; our translation).

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