On Wednesday, the German Defence Ministry apologized for posting an image of a Nazi-era military uniform on Instagram.
The image was posted as an example of ‘retro fashion’. The Instagram post sent a wave of confusion among people provoking a massive backlash towards the Defence Ministry for a careless gaffe.
The German army apologized on Wednesday after it posted a picture of a Nazi uniform on its Instragram story with the word "retro" on top of it.https://t.co/o0uM3DCoJV
— DW News (@dwnews) November 27, 2019
The image, with three swastikas-an official insignia of the Nazi army, was shared on the Instagram story with a caption: “Also #fashion is an aspect. To this day there are military-style elements of haute couture.”
The Instagram goof-up was followed by a press conference in Berlin from defence spokesman, Chrisitan Thiels, who apologized and declared it an ‘unacceptable mistake’.
According to media reports, the photo was allegedly posted as a part of a “uniform and fashion” social media campaign. The image depicted the uniform of a major of Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
Thiels, explained that he has censured the employee who committed the mistake. He admitted that the mistake has gravely ruined the image of the German military and said that the post has caused ‘considerable irritation’.
He asserted that the employee had no political background motivation to post the image.
“Dear community, we apologize! We posted a photo of a Wehrmacht uniform used for a movie. The uniform is in an exhibit in our Military History Museum in Dresden. The intention was to show a photo story of a centuries-long influence of uniforms on fashion,” wrote the German military in the statement.
— John DeRosa, PhD (@jpderosa) November 27, 2019
Tobias Linder, a German Parliament from Green Party demanded an explanation as to how the image made it to the official account of the German Military that has 300,000 followers.
Besides the press conference, the German Military also apologized to the people in a series of tweets. The German Military reiterated that extremism of any kind is discouraged in Bundeswehr.
The social media campaign was part of the German military strategy to expand its outreach on social media channels to motivate German youth to join the military services.
Bundeswehr is attempting to fight back the declining recruitment rate in the German military with influential marketing campaigns to show military services adventurous to youth.
The recruitment in the military has dropped significantly since the government revoked obligatory national service in 2011.