The Giessen Administrative Court dismissed an action brought by a former Bundeswehr (German military) soldier who was fired for hoisting a German flag in Crete, RND reported.
The court found on Wednesday that this “serious affront” had seriously injured the Bundeswehr’s reputation.
The decision is not yet final.
According to Bundeswehr investigations, the man and another soldier caused a scandal during an operation in Crete in 2019.
In their free time, they exchanged the Greek flag for one of their own country on a flagpole on a rocky plateau.
During the Second World War, the German Wehrmacht occupied the Greek island in the Mediterranean, and thousands of civilians were brutally murdered as a result.
Greek authorities arrested and sentenced the soldiers after the incident.
In the same year, the Bundeswehr fired the men because they were said to have seriously violated their “duty to serve faithfully and behave well”.
The court said it did not matter whether the plaintiff or, as he said, the other soldier hoisted the flag.
His behaviour cannot be excused by the fact that he said he was not aware of the history of the Second World War.
The hoisting of a German flag on a flagpole on foreign national territory also differs significantly from “setting a flag after hiking a mountain peak or building a sand castle while on vacation at the beach.”
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