As of: February 12, 2024, 3:13 p.m
By: Tadhg Nagel
Annalena Baerbock's grandfather was in the Wehrmacht - something she never kept secret.
Memories of an old smear campaign are awakened.
Berlin - The grandfather of Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), like many German men of his generation, was in the Wehrmacht - which has been known for a long time.
However, according to one report, he may have been more deeply involved than previously thought.
Waldemar Baerbock (1913–2016) was an officer in the Wehrmacht, a fact that the Federal Foreign Minister makes no secret of.
For many years the family had no idea of the past, as
Finally, the grandfather revealed to the Federal Foreign Minister that he had belonged to the Wehrmacht.
An exhibition about the German armed forces during the Third Reich inspired him to do this.
This so-called Wehrmacht exhibition by the Hamburg Institute for Social Research was on display between 1994 and 1999.
She made an important contribution to enlightenment by making the crimes of the Wehmacht known to a broad public.
Baerbock often mentions her grandfather: Russia once initiated a smear campaign
The Federal Foreign Minister likes to mention her grandfather - in speeches, but also in her book “Now”, published in 2021.
It is written there that he came to Frankfurt on the Oder as a Wehrmacht officer during the retreat.
When she witnessed the symbolic opening of the border between Germany and Poland on the Oder Bridge, she thought of him.
According to the book “Annalena Baerbock: The Biography” by Anita Partanen, the fact that her grandfather was involved in the attack on Poland in 1939 and thus “crossed the border between Germany and Poland contrary to applicable international law” had a strong influence on the current Foreign Minister.
This was one reason why she went into politics.
According to her ministry, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was not aware of her grandfather's Wehrmacht files.
Although Annalena Baerbock has always emphasized that she believes in a Europe as a force for peace and is committed to fighting anti-Semitism and promoting international understanding, her grandfather's past was a central part of a smear campaign initiated by the Russian broadcaster
in 2021 entitled “Annalena Baerbock - Reunification Europe on the shoulders of her Wehrmacht grandfather?” The Kremlin-affiliated media claimed at the time that the Federal Foreign Minister was ideologically following in her ancestor’s footsteps.
One must ensure that “their 'struggle' and their 'Europe' bear no resemblance to their grandfather's ideas,” the broadcaster said at the time.
Follower or “unconditional National Socialist” – Waldemar Baerbock remained silent for a long time
According to the
when Waldemar Baerbock died in 2016, he left behind a family book in which the sentence “How incredibly lucky you are not to have to experience a war” can be found.
Despite this insight, his long silence led to rifts in the family - before his late insight in the 1990s, he did not want to tell Annalena Baerbock's father anything about his time in the Wehrmacht.
Nevertheless, the newspaper alleges, the family did not research the Wehrmacht files.
It is precisely this file that the
has now taken to heart - and apparently discovered that Waldemar Baerbock was an ardent supporter of National Socialism.
The document literally states that the deceased Baerbock Senior was an “unconditional National Socialist”.
He had read Hitler's “Mein Kampf” and was “completely on the grounds of National Socialism.”
The propaganda narrative is being picked up again on social media because of Baerbock's grandfather
However, it is not clear how much meaning can be attributed to such sentences.
writes, according to the Federal Archives, personnel files from that time “almost always” contain phrases such as “is firmly based on the National Socialist worldview.”
According to the archive, statements such as “represents the National Socialist worldview and knows how to pass it on to subordinates” or “impeccable National Socialist attitude” are not unusual.
When asked by the newspaper, Baerbock's ministry said that the documents were "not known" to the Foreign Minister.
However, that doesn't stop social media users from picking up
's narrative again.
On the short message service
Most recently, Baerbock burst into tears during Marcel Reif's speech on the occasion of the 79th day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism - a reaction that makes it clear what the Foreign Minister stands for.