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Thread: Germany: defense minister tells soldiers to stop whoring for attention

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    Default Germany: defense minister tells soldiers to stop whoring for attention

    Disclaimer: I know the article's headline has a different wording but as a native speaker I find my translation way more true to what de Maizière actually said.

    Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière has offended German soldiers by suggesting they were addicted to praise and in constant need of approval. Instead, he said they should concentrate on their work.

    In an interview with Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, de Maizière said the German public had become more supportive of soldiers in the Bundeswehr.
    But he added that many soldiers did not see this, and were desperate for approval. "They have the understandable, but often exaggerated desire for appreciation. They have perhaps become practically addicted to it," said de Maizière.
    "Simply stop craving recognition," he said. "One does not get the appreciation of others by asking for it, but by working well."

    The action was predictably unhappy, with Ulrich Kirsch, head of the Bundeswehr Association said the minister's choice of words were "disappointing and absolutely inappropriate.
    "German soldiers do not crave for anything - neither recognition nor anything else."
    If soldiers had a greater need for respect and recognition, it was because for a long time they had received too little of these things, he said.

    Defence spokesman for the opposition Social Democrats Rainer Arnold, said that apart from the unfortunate choice of words, he could understand de Maizière's comments.
    "One must sometimes explain to soldiers that it is no disrespect of the army when people regard military operations sceptically," he told Monday's Süddeutsche Zeitung.
    De Maizière was in Turkey at the weekend visiting the 300 German troops stationed there with Patriot rockets units as part of a NATO operation to support Turkish defences near the Syrian border.
    It is a matter of fact that German soldiers are treated with disinterest at best and open antipathy at worst. Almost each and every soldier can tell a tale or two of how they were verbally abused in public or even threatened. 'Pacifist' activists haunt the neighbourhoods of barracks or soldiers' residences and sabotage their parked cars. Once when almost a dozen soldiers had died in action in Afghanistan in a matter of weeks, some bastards launched an advertising campaign that read "Finally disarmament has begun". The most staggering case until now is that of a veteran decorated with the Honour Cross for Conspicuous Gallantry (Germany's highest military award) who was spit at while in uniform and his best friend's car torched.

    It's incredible de Maizière said something like the above. "One does not get the appreciation of others by asking for it, but by working well." - while this is partially true (the statement the public would've become more supportive is absolutely not!), does the decision to serve one's country in uniform not deserve appreciation per se?

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