A video showing a German army instructor ordering a recruit to imagine he is shooting at African Americans in New York's Bronx area has been broadcast on the country's television networks.
The 90-second video was obtained by German magazine Stern and first published on its website.
In response the German defence ministry insisted it has been aware of the clip since the new year and that a full investigation is currently ongoing.
The instructor in the video is heard to tell a recruit on firing practice with a machine gun: "You're in the Bronx, a black van pulls up in front of you and three African Americans get out and start really insulting your mother – now do something!"
As the soldier fires the gun he is ordered to shout obscenities and swear increasingly loudly by the instructor.
Bronx borough president Adolfo Carrion told the Associated Press news agency that he expected a full apology to the community as a result of the video.
"Clearly these folks don't know anything about African Americans or the Bronx," he said.
The video, apparently filmed last July in a barracks near Rendsburg, northern Germany, is the latest in a series of controversies to hit the Bundeswehr.
Eighteen instructors are currently facing charges of abusing and humiliating new recruits in 2004, while last year a German newspaper published macabre images of soldiers posted to Afghanistan desecrating human skulls in Kabul.
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