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

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

Chapter 13
THE RECONSTRUCTION

Monday, 15 April 1991

At Strausberg again, and a headquarters meeting. The following confusing situation has emerged: because the weapons of some 'disbanded' formations could not be handed over by the planned date, these formations have unexpectedly been kept in service by drafting in detachments of three to four hundred soldiers. This makes these units the same size as the previous formations. However, the enforcement of discipline can no longer be carried out officially, because those in charge of the disbanded formations have, logically, no power to enforce discipline. Such a situation has not been accounted for in our regulations and none of us has thought about it. In this matter we have caused the difficulties ourselves! Now an order must be given to rescind the disbandment of the formations, until the weapons have been handed over and the remaining personnel have been released.

The situation report also tells me that on 9 April an observation team from a Military Regional Command was shot at by Soviet sentries while observing an ammunition depot of the Soviet forces. Thank God no one was wounded. All the same, I order that the sequence of events be clarified and that a repetition be avoided.

Finally, I say an official farewell to Major-General von Scheven, my deputy, who initially had taken over 140 sections of the central formations, which were then gradually disbanded or placed under another command. Tomorrow he will be installed as the Commanding Officer of the Corps and Territorial Command East; most of the soldiers stationed in the five new Länder will then be under his command.

-160-

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