Merkel Defends Handling of 2009 Kunduz Massacre

Calls for Explanation Met With Full Denial of Wrongdoing

In highly anticipated testimony to a special parliamentary committee, German Chancellor Angela Merkel eagerly defended her government’s handling of the wake of the September 2009 Kunduz massacre, a scandal which led to the ouster of a large number of top military and domestic officials.

Merkel insisted that the governent was entirely candidate, and that the public “was made adequately clear that there had very probably been civilian victims.” Though it had been reported by the media that this was the case, the Defense Minister at the time, Franz Jung, publicly testified that not a single civilian had been killed, and that everyone was a terrorist. Merkel and others likewise chastised the media for its coverage of the killings, and for the suggestion that they killed large numbers of civilians.

The scandal, beyond the fact that Jung flat out lied to the German public, was that the September 9 massacre, which killed some 100 Afghans, came just two and a half weeks before the German national election on September 27, and the government was insisting on the “appropriate” nature of the killings and the lack of civilian deaths until after the vote.

Jung was reassigned after the vote, but was forced to resign in November 2009 because of his role in the coverup. The head of the German Army was also forced out at roughly the same time, as were some other Defense Ministry officials, for keeping the facts of the killing secret from the broader parliament and the German public.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.