(Political education; 02-02; p.4)
As an element of reforms put into practice in
1973 two universities belonging to the Bundeswehr were founded:
one in Hamburg, the other in Munich. Among other subjects full
three-year studies in pedagogy and social sciences were offered.
From 1978 onward however, these subjects were reduced again or
adapted to the special needs of the armed forces. The changes
in political science studies may illustrate this: whereas originally
offered with focus on political theory (theory of democracy) and
international relations, today at the armed forces' university
in Munich one can only choose studies that are orientated towards
administrative careers. - If the academy of the Bundeswehr Straußberg,
a complex that formerly hosted the MoD of the GDR, will fill a
gap in this respect, remains to be seen.
The National People's Army of the GDR
Some remarks have to be made about political education in the
GDR's armed forces, the NPA. Political education there served
to arm soldiers ideologically, that way to prepare them for possible
engagements. - This general guide-line had still been issued by
the east-German MoD in the 1980s. Thus, military functional reasons
also were the relevant ones.
Besides, at least since the 1960s scientific activities were openly
biased as demanded by the ruling party, the SED, towards social
utility as defined by the party.
Officers' education had been integrated accordingly; political
science - of East German occurrence - was taught centralised at
the Franz-Mehring-Institute and the section for Scientific Communism,
both at Leipzig university. Officers could participate in these
studies by distant education; changes to the curricula towards
a more reform-orientated socialism could if at all only be seen
since the belated perestroika starting in 1988.
Summed up, one finds that in both German states military functional
necessities were the basis for the establishment of political
education in the armed forces. A specific difference can be recognised
regarding the openness of politicians to new concepts of social
scientists. As long as there is no debate among scientists or
politicians about new military policies of unified Germany, it
seems consequent to reduce political education of officers to
- some may say: replace it by - mere administrative studies.
(end of article)