The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 14, 1968 · Page 4
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 4

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, November 14, 1968
Page 4
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Page 4 article text (OCR)

A4 Palm Beach Post.Thurs., November 14, 1968 Demoralization Found At Bottom Of German Scandals Bonn generals belong to the public employees union). There has been schizophrenia, too, within the Defense establishment, and within the officer coips. It concerns the status of those officers who remained loyal to Hitler as opposed to those who supported the anti-Hitler resistance. To the first group, the anti-Hitler officers are traitors, and this issue remains unresolved even today within the German armed forces. Then there is the brother ag-alnst-brother schizophrenia engendered by Germany's division. As "Der Spiegel" points out, Germany's partitioning between East and West has created an Inevitable espionage battleground. Finally, there is the schizoid attitude of their rallies toward the German armed forces. The enemy of yesterday is the ally of today but little is forgiven and nothing forgotten. On the other hand, without the Germans, especially since General De Gaulle's defection, NATO would be little more than a shell. Thus, the German military man. suffers from a demoralization unique among modern military establishments. Unloved even by his own people, feared by much of the world and distrusted by his own allies, kept on a short rein by his own government th German military man is prv.v to espionage and treason as i: probably no other military man in the Western world. The second prime case, that of the German Air Force pilot who stole the Sidewinder missile and Starfighter navigation equipment, Illustrates other aspects of the demoralization of the German armed forces. German military pay scales are ridiculously low in relation to civilian employment (which Is underlined by the mass exodus of Luftwaffe pilots to Join the Lufthansa), and fringe benefits skimpy. The pilot who stole the Sidewinder and the navigation equipment, received total pay and allowances of $35 monthly. The base in south Germany from which the missile was stolen has no perimeter military security force, but, instead, hires pensioners to conserve military manpower. These elderly guards frequently doze off, as was the case characterized the building of the German armed forces. The Bonn Attorney General, Ludwig Martin, upbraided the security agencies for their slipshod handling of the prime case, that of recently - retired Admiral Herman Luedke. Martin said that although photographs of secret NATO documents were found on film In a Minox camera owned by the Admiral (who prior to his retirement was NATO deputy chief of staff for logistics), he was retired in normal fashion and was given time, after being notified of the espionage investigation against him, to destroy possible incriminating evidence at his home. The German press speculated that the Admiral may have been deliberately assisted by friends In the Defense ministry. was thrust on them by the United States and Britain, with the eager connivance of Konrad Adenauer. The tradlUonal German military establishment had been a "state within the state." The new establishment was to be democratic defense forces of "citizens in uniform." The zealous reformers who guided rearmament visualized military duty as being akin to duty In the post office or any other section of the government bureaucracy. An Army Union? These far-out concepts, which go beyond anything attempted in any other major Western military forces, even authorize labor unions to recruit members among the armed forces (indeed, three when the pilot, Wolf Diethard Knoppe, and two accomplices stole the missile and navigation equipment, removing their loot through a hole cut in the base perimeter fence. Personnel policies In the German armed forces are lax and encourage demoralization. "Der Spiegel" reported, for example, that General Horst Wendland, deputy chief of the Bonn Intelligence Service (counterpart of the CIA), had suffered from neurosis for some time before he shoti himself, but had been kept on the job despite his mental ailment. In essence, the demoralization in the West German armed forces traces to the schizophrenia under which they were organized, and under which they still operate. Most Germans opposed re-armampnt. They complain It ing a full-dress Bundestag investigation of all aspects of the scandal, with special attention to demoralization in the armed forces. The Bundestag's president, Eugen Gerstenmaier, believes new legislation is required to set guidelines for a reorganization of the counter-intelligence services. Chancellor Kieslnger admits to being baffled and dismayed by the malaise In the German armed forces revealed by the espionage cases. The Chancellor has asked for a report from the security agencies concerned. As "Der Spiegel" pointed out, this will be quite an undertaking: there are no fewer than 13 organizations involved in the Federal Government's counter-espionage, such is the rivalry, the backbiting and the distrust that has BONN, (NANA) Demoralization in the West German armed forces is blamed for the spy scandals which have rocked the Bonn Government and alarmed the Federal Republic's Atlantic Alliance allies. The Bonn Government's investigation indicates that the chain of spy cases Is more than conventional espionage. In one form or another, all of the cases trace back to the demoralization in the German armed forces. In a case by case analysis of what it calls "Bonn's spy hysteria," the West German news magazine "Der Spiegel" finds that each case Is the outgrowth of this demoralization. German political leaders are voicing the same opinion. 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