Germany decided to take extra measures after the Munich shooting. Armed soldiers will be deployed to patrol the streets.
Germany is on the verge of smashing one of the last post-Nazi taboos by deploying armed soldiers on the streets in peacetime to combat terrorism.
The Munich massacre has triggered a new security debate which includes stiffer gun laws and the use of troops in force.
A mentally-ill loner, 18, killed nine including teenagers outside a McDonald’s in revenge for years of bullying.
Keeping soldiers in their barracks has been a central tenet of postwar German domestic policy following the demise of Nazism.
But after Friday’s slaughter – and an earlier incident where a refugee attacked passengers on a commuter train with an axe and a knife – the Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann says soldiers must join in the anti-terror fight in the same way as they do in France
‘We are facing extreme situations,’ said Herrmann. ‘We do not live in the time of the Weimar Republic now,’ he said referring to Germany’s post-WW1 experiment with democracy which failed spectacularly and led directly to the rise of the Nazis.
He said that historical reservations about armed soldiers on the streets were no longer applicable, adding: ‘We are an absolutely stable democracy.’
But he said the decision when and where to deploy the Bundeswehr (army) must rest solely with the police.
He went on: ‘The Bundeswehr can be deployed under the leadership of the German states who are responsible for internal security to protect the citizens.’
In tandem with this plan are new discussions in Berlin about tightening Germany’s already strict gun laws.
The news comes as investigators say the gun used by the deranged Munich killer had been bought on the ‘dark web’ and was originally from Slovakia.
The 9mm Glock handgun was smuggled into Germany and sold illegally to 18-year-old killer Ali Sonboly.
The serial number on the weapon had been erased but police sources have revealed the firearm carried a certification mark from Slovakia.
It is believed the weapon used to kill nine people on Friday was a replica that had been converted to fire live ammunition.
The Glock 17 pistol was sold illegally via the the ‘dark web’ – sites on the internet that can only be accessed with passwords and are often used to sell drugs, child porn and other items illegally.