Germany ponders reintroducing conscription

10 Sep 1968, Prague, Czechoslovakia --- Soviet Troops March Through Prague --- Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
10 Sep 1968, Prague, Czechoslovakia — Soviet Troops March Through Prague — Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

Germany may reintroduce a form of national service for civilians to help the army deal with a future disaster.

The role of civilians is part of a new civil defence strategy to be discussed by the government on Wednesday.

Since the strategy was leaked to the media there has been intense debate about stockpiling food and water.

In a crisis civilians might be obliged to help direct traffic or provide fuel and accommodation for the military, German news agency DPA reported.

Germans appeared generally unfazed by what some MPs have called government “scaremongering” but the word “Wehrpflicht” (conscription) was trending on social media on Tuesday.

The topic of civil defence also boosted the popularity of hamsters on social media, as Germans, with more than a hint of irony, adopted the hashtag “Hamsterkaeufe”, which means panic-buying or hoarding like a hamster.

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