At sea, he has weathered every storm. On Land, Nils Brandt can watch currently, only helpless, like dark clouds brewing over the “Gorch Fock”. “I’m very Worried,” says the commander of the sail training ship of the Navy. “We have now fought three years for the preservation of the ship and not for reasons of nostalgia or sentimentality.” After the explosion of Costs in the renovation and a suspicion of corruption, the fate of the 1958-built three-masters is uncertain.

On a crisis summit, the peaks of the Navy and Department of defense to provide today an Overview of the Situation. According to information provided by a speaker should not be decided on the future of the “Gorch Fock”. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) stressed in the run-up to the meeting: “The Gorch Fock is a great Tradition in the Navy.” In the media and in the Navy is still speculated about.

cost for the rehabilitation of the “Gorch Fock” from ten to 135 million Euro

rose, The ship is already renovated for 2016. Originally with tens of millions of euros, ran the cost from the rudder and are now estimated at 135 million euros. Just a few days ago also against an employee of the naval Arsenal Wilhelmshaven under investigation for corruption were initiated suspicion. According to NDR, the man who should have complaint to have been partly responsible for the price testing the “Gorch Fock”-repair. The shipyard pointed out, however, a first stocktaking revealed that the suspicion of taking advantage of an employee of the Navy Arsenal stand with the cost increases in connection. The limited responsibilities of the employee speak.

Historical sailing ship

the “Gorch Fock”.


Because of the suspicions of corruption, the Navy said in a ceremony at the naval school Mürwik to 60. Anniversary of the commissioning of the ship. “The crew was partly in tears, because we had everything prepared,” said commander Brandt. “We had baked cookies and a big birthday cake in preparation.” His crew is tested “in the meantime, so sorry that you deal with these things, also very sensitive”.

Is a ship like the “Gorch Fock” at all?

The marine officer is of the meaning of the Maritime basic training on Board. “Water as an Element that defines us as a Navy, and the climate are on a sailing ship so to communicate,” says Brandt. “There is a young officer, experienced candidates what it means to have to Wind and weather, his service to perform.” In addition, situations carried extremely on Board team-building. An old ship the “Gorch Fock” also offers a further advantage: “the Detachment from the mobile radio system GSM, the comrades to remember that it is not the social media are your friends, but the boys who sit to the left and to the right of you.”

a Mysterious death

Dead Gorch-Fock-cadet: witness speaks of the murder of Jenny boken

For crisis researchers Frank Roselieb several topics relating to the ship – such as the now filmed the death of the cadet Jenny boken in a Ausbildungstörn 2008 – have not been dealt with completely. “The Gorch Fock which provides at the moment a bit as a scapegoat for all sorts of problems of Marine and army”, says the managing Director of the Institute for crisis research. He refers to the difficulties of the troupe, after the abolition of compulsory military service enough young talent and the controversial use of external consultants by the Ministry of defence.

“is There such a ship as the “Gorch Fock” of course tangible,” said Roselieb. “You can make it clear: If we abolish it now, then we cut the old braids of the armed forces.” What matters is how much the policy is willing to invest in this ship. “The Elbphilharmonie was also ten times as expensive as planned, and yet they are now all totally great.” If the German army manages, the “Gorch Fock” with the help of emotions as a combination of Tradition and Modernity to depict the ship a future. “If you can’t get this emotional in the crisis management, the “Gorch Fock will not be redeveloped” with safety.”

Federal taxpayers for the demolition of the rehabilitation

For the Federation of the taxpayers is clear: “The ongoing rehabilitation work must be immediately and the remains of the ship recovered aborted,” says the country Director in Schleswig-Holstein, Rainer Kersten. “This decision should have been at least a year, then the taxpayer would have been spared the senseless expenditure in the tens of millions.”

The explosion in Costs for the refurbishment of the ship also employs the Federal court of auditors. In the near future, a draft of the test message, go to the opinion to the Ministry of defense, says a spokesman. Commander Brandt feared might be “just before Christmas, a decision to accept, which is difficult to understand”. Him the “media-Hype concern” to the allegations of corruption. “I don’t want to talk but not beautiful, this is an incredible mess.”

kg / DPA

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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.


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