With the start of the Ukraine war on February 24, the number of conscientious objectors in the Bundeswehr also increased. As the Editorial Network Germany (RND) citing a spokesman for the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks, the Federal Office has received 657 applications for conscientious objection so far this year. In the previous year, however, the authority had only received 209 applications. By August, the number of conscientious objectors had more than tripled.
According to the information, those who refused often justified their applications with the war in Ukraine. There are concerns about a possible escalation of the conflict. They therefore did not expect a military conflict, writes the RND. Applications for conscientious objection must be submitted to the responsible Bundeswehr career center, which then forwards them to the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks. All recognized conscientious objectors could invoke their status as conscientious objectors both in the event of a reintroduction of conscription and in cases of tension and defence.
However, applications for conscientious objection are by no means always successful, as a recent case from Bavaria shows. The Regensburg administrative court rejected the application of a 26-year-old Bundeswehr soldier in April on the grounds that the woman had been classified as unfit for service since mid-2020 due to depression. Their suitability for service can be checked again later and they can be confiscated again. According to a report by the BR Moral doubts about the Bundeswehr system had previously arisen.
Lambrecht continues to reject conscription
As the number of conscientious objectors increases, the number of applicants for the armed forces decreases RND– Reportedly continues to decrease. The number of applicants for military service in the Bundeswehr has been declining since the beginning of 2022, said a spokeswoman for the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Personnel Management in Cologne. Around 183,000 soldiers are currently serving in the Bundeswehr. But the labor shortage is also noticeable here.
According to Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), the aim of the army must be to recruit and retain “more qualified” personnel. At the same time, the “dropout rates” would have to be further reduced. “A look at the demographics shows that we have to get better here,” said the SPD politician at the most recent Bundeswehr conference. However, Lambrecht still rejects the reintroduction of conscription, despite the changed threat situation caused by the Ukraine war. “A conscription debate is of little use to us in the current situation,” the minister admitted to the newspapers Funk media group a. Training soldiers takes time, less than a year makes little sense, she continued, adding:
“We don’t have enough barracks, trainers or equipment for tens of thousands of conscripts.”
Conscription should also include women and should ultimately not only affect one in four in a year. Conscription was suspended in Germany in 2011.
more on the subject – The number of conscientious objectors in the Bundeswehr is increasing