Germany's Nazi past haunts soldier ceremony

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Germany's bitter insecurities about its post-war militarism have been highlighted at a controversial torch-lit ceremony to swear in new soldiers in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, made an eleventh hour decision to attend the ceremony, in which 500 new troops were inducted. But her decision was only made after heavy pressure from the German armed forces, which complained of a "shameful lack of interest" from politicians sensitive to the German public's notorious post-war pacifism.

German troops are currently serving in five hotspots across the globe, with more than 3,000 troops in Afghanistan, but are often unloved at home.

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