Latest update: 23/03/2011
National Service to disappear - but so will its army of young volunteers
National Service will soon come to an end in Germany and any new recruits will all be volunteers. It's the biggest shake-up to the German army since the end of WWII and the repercussions will be felt all through society. 1 in 2 young people refuse to join up and so they serve their National Service in the community, working in old peoples' homes, hospitals and so on. They've become such an essential part of the system that these institutions are worrying how they'll cope without them.
Programme prepared by Kate Williams, Marie Billon and Patrick Lovett