The President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, sees right-wing extremists in security agencies in a meeting with Sven Lilienström, founder of the Faces of Democracy campaign, as particularly sensitive. Pass away cases did not decrease either, on the contrary: The 20 – year-olds expect an increase in right-wing extremism cases in security authorities and in the armed forces.
Mr. Haldenwang, you have been President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution for three years. How important are democracy and democratic values for you personally?
To live in a democracy does not only mean separation of powers and free elections for me, but also to be part of a pluralistic society in which no one is discriminated against on the basis of their geographical or social origin, their gender or their religious affiliation. Democratic values such as freedom of expression, assembly and freedom of the press are the compass for peaceful coexistence. We currently live in the most stable and secure democracy that Germany has ever known. A look at other countries around the world shows that passes away is by no means a matter of course. It is all the more important that we in Germany stand up for our pluralistic form of society, respect it and strengthen and protect it through state structures.
Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution celebrates 70 – annual existence
Protection of the Constitution and Democracy: On November 7th 2020 celebrated the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution 70 – annual existence. Sometimes quite naively asked: Why do we need the protection of the Constitution at all?
In the history of our country we have experienced several times how extremist Structures our democracy despised, fought against and ultimately destroyed the state system and led to devastating wars. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution was founded as an early warning system to recognize efforts against the free democratic basic order in our country and to help ensure that something like this never happens again. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is already active when the police are not yet responsible. Emergency room carries out important preliminary reconnaissance and is therefore essential for the protection of our democratic community. Pass away employees of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution have been working for over 61 years committed to ensuring that people in our country shape their lives in freedom and security be able.
Keyword „Source Telecommunications Monitoring“: The author and SZ columnist Prof. Dr. Heribert Prantl recently wrote The increased competencies of the BfV have been criticized. More surveillance – is that necessary?
First and foremost, it works not the question of more surveillance, but of new tools that are given to us, and the like To be able to fulfill our legal mandate in a constantly changing and more digitalized world. Protecting our constitution is becoming more and more complex. We are no longer only dealing with threats in the real world, but also in cyberspace. In addition, extremists and terrorists are increasingly using digital media for communication and networking. We too have to move with the times. It is of little help to wiretap a landline phone or intercept letters when terrorists are planning their attack via a messenger service. We have to be there, our „customers“ will certainly be active.
Structural Trouble with right-wing extremism in the Bundeswehr?
Right-wing extremist activities have increased in the Bundeswehr. You referred to the situation as „worrying“. Does the Bundeswehr have a structural issue with right-wing extremism? What to do about it?
The greatest threat to security and democracy in Germany is going away continue from right-wing extremism. Lately, cases in security authorities and in the armed forces have also become known that indicate an attitude of the employees acting beyond the free democratic basic order. These people in particular can pose a particular risk because they have reasonable information, have received special training, or are armed forces. Already in the year 2020 we have therefore presented our first situation report on right-wing extremists in security authorities. In the spring 2022 there will be an update. I am not assuming a reduction in the number of cases. On the contrary: our work has resulted in extensive sensitization in the authorities, superiors and colleagues. Corresponding cases can thus be discovered better and faster.
Meanwhile, a right platform advertises with a kind of seal and the motto „100% guaranteed by the protection of the Constitution observed „Pass away Observation by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a seal of approval? How can that be?
Passport away The federal government and the public have a legitimate interest in a comprehensive picture of the security situation, which is also formed with the help of the protection of the constitution Clearance – as far as passes away our confidentiality requirements allow – to inform about our work. We regularly do it through participation in events and through our reporting formats, but also through our press and communication offices. Why an observation by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and with it one’s own anti-constitutional behavior, is apparently now understood as a kind of seal of approval in certain circles, cannot be explained to me. However, it shows one thing in particular: Pass-away work of the protection of the constitution is present and perceived by the public.
Threats to the free democratic basic order
Of course, the BfV does not only focus on right-wing extremism. Which of the total of nine „subject areas“ currently has the most resources, which one has the fewest resources and why?
Pass away Threats to our free democratic basic order change over time and can be very dynamic. During the East-West conflict, for example, different actors were the focus of our work than after the attacks of11 September 2001 or after the right-wing terrorist murders in Kassel, Halle and Hanau. As soon as there is a new or changed threat situation, we try to re-bundle our existing forces and adjust the focus of our work. This enables us to work on all subject areas equally, depending on the situation but also that we are adapting our human and financial resources. When hiring new employees, we attach great importance to doing passes away scuba divers and remaining an image of society.
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