The German military has commenced a nationwide inspection of every barracks in the country after Nazi memorabilia was discovered at two locations, defying a ban on Nazi symbols in the country.

Barracks in Illkirch, based in north-east France, and Fuerstenberg were found to possess material linked to the Wehrmacht army that served under infamous leader Adolf Hitler.

The Illkirch barracks had Wehrmacht memorabilia clearly and visibly displayed in its common room, while the Fürstenberg location had a display cabinet filled with helmets of Nazi soldiers.

Inspectors also found posters of Wehrmacht soldiers, Nazi pistols and other decorations in Fürstenberg, although confirmed that none of the objects found breached current German law – for example, by featuring a Nazi swastika.

A German defence ministry spokesman said the inspection was required to see if any rules had been broken over use of banned Nazi symbols.

"The General Inspector has instructed that all properties be inspected to see whether rules on dealing with heritage with regard to the Wehrmacht and National Socialism are being observed," a statement said.

Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen backed the inspection and called on right-wing extremism to be banished from the German military, adding that the country cannot allow such attitudes to be overlooked.

"We are training people with weapons," she said, "It is right that there are higher standards for us. A 'carry on' attitude is out of the question."

Von der Leyen has caused controversy in Germany after she labelled leadership in the German military as "weak" following the arrest of an officer who was allegedly planning a racist attack.

In an attempt to calm the row, she has since apologised for her "tone" during the criticism, but would not reverse her opinion.

Inspectors will give a final verdict into their probe on 16 May.

Nazi  relics
Displaying memorabilia featuring Nazi swastikas is forbidden under German law. Wiki Commons