Germany considers return of conscription for civil defense

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.

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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.

Germany’s Die Tageszeitung daily sported a big picture of a hamster on its front page, with the headline “The End is Nigh” – which was widely tweeted.

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