Since its founding in 1955, Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, has never quite shaken off the spirit of the Wehrmacht. Why is that?
Von Peter Dausend
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The visible photos are of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, Bundeswehr Chief of Staff Volker Wieker and a student ombudsman. Up until last Thursday, there was a fifth picture of Helmut Schmidt, posing in a uniform of the Wehrmacht, the German Nazi army. Mr. Schmidt, who would go on to become defense minister and German chancellor, started out as a first lieutenant in Hitler’s army. Nobody at the university knows any longer who hung this picture or when. Some say it had been pinned to the wall for twelve or thirteen years before Mr. Schmidt’s name was added to Bundeswehr University in December 2003.