German right demands nuclear “weapons of mass extermination”


German right demands nuclear “weapons of mass extermination”

31 July 2018

Just weeks after the right-wing coalition government in Germany announced its intention to massively increase military spending, a major national newspaper has called for the creation of an arsenal of nuclear weapons. In its latest edition, published this past weekend, the Welt am Sonntag features a front-page picture of a nuclear bomb, painted in the colours of the German flag. The headline reads: “Do we need the bomb” [Brauchen wir die Bombe?] The answer is an unequivocal and bloodcurdling “Ja!”

The author of the article is Christian Hacke, a leading academic with close ties to leading figures in the government, the military and the foreign policy establishment. His political career dates back to the 1960s, when he made a name for himself as a leader of the right-wing Association of Christian-Democratic Students (RCDS). He has taught at the military university in Hamburg and is a member of the German Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Committee on Atlantic Studies, and the World Security Network. Clearly, Hacke is not merely expressing his personal opinion.

The Welt am Sonntag features a front-page picture of a nuclear bomb draped in a German flag

Arguing that Germany cannot leave the defense of its strategic interests to the United States and other NATO members, Hacke’s article calls for “a review of the contractual cornerstones of German defense policy.” Germany, he proclaims, cannot do without “weapons of mass extermination” [Massenvernichtungswaffen].

Hacke’s essay recalls the darkest chapter in German history. Vernichtung is the German word for extermination. The Nazis used the term Vernichtungskrieg [war of…

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