The number of conscientious objectors in the Bundeswehr is rising at record levels. 657 applications have now been received in the current year, compared to 209 in the whole of the previous year. The number had already more than tripled by the end of August.
Applications for conscientious objection must be submitted to the responsible Bundeswehr career center. According to the editorial network Germany (RND), many expect armed conflicts and justify their refusal.
At the same time, the number of applicants for the armed forces is decreasing, as a spokeswoman for the Federal Office for Personnel Management in the Bundeswehr reports to the RND. Immediately after the outbreak of the war, there was an increased number of interested parties for a short time, the spokeswoman continues. “Accordingly, the agreed and carried out initial consultation appointments for career advice had also increased.” The trend has now reversed.
Germany suspended general conscription in 2011. Until then, applications for conscientious objection were the order of the day and by no means always successful.
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) does not want to think about reintroducing conscription, despite the changed threat situation. “A conscription debate is of little use to us in the current situation,” Lambrecht told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “It takes time to train soldiers – less than a year makes little sense.” In addition, there are neither enough barracks, trainers nor the equipment for tens of thousands of conscripts.