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Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Defense Ministry condemns training video

April 17, 2007

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— Germany's Defense Ministry said Monday an army instructor's order to a soldier to imagine being accosted by blacks in New York's Bronx borough while firing a machine gun was "absolutely unacceptable" but denied it was a symptom of widespread racism.

The instructor who issued the command, recorded on a video circulating on the Internet, was under investigation, ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe said.

"This behavior is absolutely unacceptable and contradicts the training standards of the German army," he said at a news conference.

Raabe insisted it was an isolated incident. "We have a success story for more than 50 years in our German army, and it is really seldom that something like that happens. I think it is not a special German problem," he later told AP Television News.

In New York, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. has demanded an apology and called for whoever was responsible to be disciplined.

"The German government obviously has work to do to correct something that is insidious. ... Clearly these folks don't know anything about African-Americans or the Bronx," he said Saturday, after the video was aired on German television.

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