(Political education; 02-02; p.2)
Herfried Münkler, a political scientist working
in Berlin, remarked that because Germany lacks a strategic community
politicians deny themselves the establishment of political concepts.
Thus, they clear the way for self-empowerment of the military.
One may ask: if society does not, do at least soldiers know why
they are sent abroad? The example of officers' education may show,
how politicians set the rules for informing and thereby integrating
the military into civil society and politics.
To avoid misinterpretation a reminder of the
basic given circumstances seems useful: political education in
the armed forces addresses the very individuals that have to be
willing to defend their countries if needed with their lives;
besides, the main characteristic of the times in question has
been the Cold War.
The West-German Bundeswehr and von Baudissin
As early as 1950 Viscount von Baudissin expressed
the aim of western-democratic educated soldiers. Political education
that way should lead to an inner strength against undermining
by anti-democratic tendencies. This at first so-called concept
of "inner fabric" (translation of: "inneres Gefüge"),
later to be known as "inner conduct" (translation of
"innere Führung"), thus had a clear military-functional
Regarding the broader field of civil societal politics, von Baudissin
as well as some political scientists like Arnold Bergstraesser
gave reasons for the necessity of "citizens in uniforms":
after having experienced Prussian militarism and its consequences
for the Weimar Republic a high degree of identification of soldiers
with their now democratised society ought be achieved. Especially
Bergstraesser claimed that mere emotional manipulation or training
of behaviours were insufficient for that.
Adenauer and his government however did not
put the concept into practice; instead they clung to the idea
of "psychological armament" from 1958 to the late 1960s.
According to that the main aim in (officers') political education
was not a citizen capable of critical reasoning but nonetheless
convinced of democratic virtues. More important became the learning
of democratic "plights". (read