1

Die Vereine sollen auch Patenschaften für "Märtyrer-Familien" der radikalislamischen Miliz vermittelt haben.

Source: Deutsche Welle, Schlag gegen Unterstützer-Vereine der Hisbollah in Deutschland

Why isn't it written like this?:

Die Vereine sollten auch Patenschaften für "Märtyrer-Familien" der radikalislamischen Miliz vermitteln.

1

Do not mix up these two usages of sollen:

  1. Ger.: Er soll geschlafen haben.
    Eng.: He is said to have been asleep.

    #1 is a rumor, it's hearsay. This is second-hand news. Whoever says this is reporting something that they believe to be true, so it's very likely that it already really happened, but the speaker don't have firm evidence.

  2. Ger.: Er soll schlafen.
    Eng.: He should sleep.

    Meaning #2 is an indirect command or a wish. What the speaker is talking about is not happening, but the speaks really wants, that it should become true.


The translations are:

Ger.: Die Vereine sollen auch Patenschaften für "Märtyrer-Familien" der radikalislamischen Miliz vermittelt haben.
Eng.: The associations are also said to have arranged sponsorships for "martyr families" of the radical Islamic militia.

The publisher believes, that this really happened, but it is not definitively proven.

Ger.: Die Vereine sollten auch Patenschaften für "Märtyrer-Familien" der radikalislamischen Miliz vermitteln.
Eng.: The associations should also arrange sponsorships for "martyr families" of the radical Islamic militia.

Here the publisher is convinced, that this sponsorship is not happening already, but he wants it to happen.

1
  • But example (2), as written, can also be the "present tense version" of (1): "he is said to be asleep". Maybe use er sollte schlafen instead? May 21 at 7:19
3

The modal verb "sollen" is used here in a special, different sense: to express that what is said is just an allegation.

See Bedeutung 3 here: https://www.dwds.de/wb/sollen

Der Blick von der ISS auf die Erde soll sehr schön sein.
The view down to earth from the ISS is allegedly beautiful.

Your sentence:

If stated as a fact, the basic sentence would be:

Die Vereine haben auch Patenschaften für "Märtyrer-Familien" der radikalislamischen Miliz vermittelt.
The associations have also arranged sponsorships for "martyr families" of radical Islamic militia.

The addition of sollen can be translated as "allegedly" or as "are said to ..."

Die Vereine sollen auch Patenschaften für "Märtyrer-Familien" der radikalislamischen Miliz vermittelt haben.
The associations are said to have also arranged sponsorships for "martyr families" of radical Islamic militia.

1
  • So is this a version of Konjunktiv I? Indirect speech? May 21 at 18:07

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