Two Armies and One Fatherland: The End of the Nationale Volksarmee

By Jörg Schönbohm; Peter Johnson et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
QUESTIONS OF SOCIAL WELFARE

Thursday, 10 January 1991

Early in the morning there is another discussion about the frontier troops. In the Federal Defence Ministry a directive is being prepared to ensure, by 30 June 1991, the complete dismissal of the frontier troops and the removal of all mines from the former inner-German border. This directive cannot be carried out because, judging by current progress, we shall be involved with mine-clearing at least until 1993 at least. After assessing all of the available information it emerges that, in some sections of the frontier installations, there must still be a great number of mines lying in the ground. Of the mines laid on GDR orders, roughly thirty thousand could not be removed as they could not be found. Thus, it is possible that in some sections there are still from five to five hundred mines lying in a mine belt. These areas must be ploughed, harrowed and very carefully searched. The large number of personnel and the great deal of time required for this task cannot be reduced, even by giving orders. Anyway, a sufficient number of members of the former frontier troops are prepared to take on this less than safe job.

Afterwards, a flight to Drewitz airfield, near Görlitz in Saxony, to which we have flown about 150 MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft. These planes are being kept there until a final decision has been made about their destruction. The storage arrangements are in order but, because we do not yet know what is to happen to them, for technical reasons all the planes are fuelled. If they are to be destroyed later -- which is to be expected -- the fuel must be removed once again. For this we require specialised personnel and special equipment, of

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