Probed for stockpiling military-issue firearms and ammunition, a non-commissioned officer from Germany’s elite KSK army unit reportedly had close ties to other commandos under scrutiny for glorifying a Nazi past.

Identified only as Philipp Sch. by local media, the 45-year-old sergeant major was arrested this week by the German army’s counterintelligence wing. Detectives uncovered an AK-47 assault rifle, complemented by a sizeable stockpile of ammunition and TNT, at his house in a hamlet in northern Saxony.

The find and the arrest both came amidst a military inquiry into a suspected far-right underground movement in the ranks of the KSK, an elite commando force similar to the British SAS or the American Green Berets.

Now, Spiegel magazine, citing own sources, suggests Philipp Sch. took part in a bizarre 2017 farewell party for a departing KSK commander. Guests – members of the elite unit – were reported to have listened to neo-Nazi tunes, exchanged Hitlerian salutes and threw pigs’ heads.

A police witness who gave a tip-off about the gathering – which came to be known as “pig heads party” among investigators – reportedly described the sergeant major as “Nazi grandpa” because he looked much older than the other men participating. 

Previous media reports suggested that the military command has been concerned about the KSK unit, which is estimated to have some 1,000 troops, becoming a hotbed of far-right extremism.

In 2018, Focus reported, the military counterintelligence service MAD found out that KSK members were part of group that apparently prepared for the fall of Germany’s constitutional order. On ‘Day X’, as it was called, they would carry out targeted assassinations according to a “hit list” that included names of prominent politicians and leaders of immigrant communities.

Other elements within the German armed forces were also plagued by far-right scandals; back in 2017, when Nazi regalia, uniforms and awards were found at several military barracks across the country.

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