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With war on the horizon, Germany is planning a significant military build-up

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            The announcement came three days after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine last month, and only a few German lawmakers had been briefed on what Chancellor Olaf Scholz was about to say: that Germany would inject 100 billion euros into its beleaguered military, putting it on track to become Europe’s strongest armed forces.

Scholz went on to say that, going forward, Germany will invest more than 2% of its GDP in its armed forces. According to NATO figures, Germany is anticipated to have spent 1.53% of GDP on defence last year.

Germany’s parliament exploded in a rare standing ovation, a noise that filled the Reichstag’s main chamber, a structure whose destruction and rebirth were at the heart of the horrors of World War II. It was now seeing what Germans referred to as a Zeitenwende: a historic turning moment.

Jana Puglierin, a defence specialist, looked on in bewilderment. “It was mind-boggling for me to watch this because for many of the things that he had effectively determined overnight, I had battled [for] years and I was certain that they would never materialise”, she adds.

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