German newspaper Der Spiegel has published a disturbing account of recruits and service personnel at an elite German military base in the city of Pfullendorf who have been subjected to sadistic practices, sexual abuse and violent rituals. The scandalous report was later confirmed by German military, and condemned by German officials.
“Sexual sadist practices” were “common practice” during a medical training course “Combat First Responder,” at the Pfullendorf military base, Der Spiegel reported citing an internal military investigation that was kept secret.
The investigation reportedly goes back to October 2016 when a female lieutenant complained that she went through abuse and violent sexual rituals during her medical training at the base. According to her account, the recruits had to get naked in front of their fellow service members, while other soldiers were filming them.
The female officer reported that that the instructors forced them into “completely senseless and sexually motivated exercises” that involved soldiers inserting tampons into their anuses. Both male and female recruits were subjected to the abuse. These “drills” were also filmed.
The troubling practices also included soldiers being tied down for hours and hosed down with water, according to the newspaper.
Following the internal investigation, seven soldiers were discharged from the service at the facility because of their involvement in the abuses. Additional soldiers are being investigated on suspicion of serious bodily injuries, deprivation of freedom, and abuse.
In the wake of Der Spiegel’s report, the army issued a statement confirming a “significant number of incidents that occurred at the special operations training center” and that “they are being taken seriously.”
The statement admitted that the exercises conducted during the coarse were “shameful” and “not in compliance with the standards of respect to human dignity and sexual self-determination.”
Reuters reports that several German officials have publicly condemned sexual abuse and violence at the Pfullendorf special training center.
“What happened at the training center is repulsive and despicable,” Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen stated.
Rainer Arnold, a lawmaker from the Social Democratic Party, called for a special session to examine the issue, according to Reuters. He also expressed his criticism that these incidents of abuse were covered up.
“This is a case where things were tolerated and nothing was said,” Arnold told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper.