Some visitors to my site have asked me that after looking through the pictures and information here. It’s just time after more than twenty years to make this living history available on the web. Since first publishing Border Duty in 2010, I’ve received many e-mails, letters and guest book entries. Most have been very positive and encouraging, but I’ve also received threats from a few people.
As time passes, more and more of my fellow veterans have sent me pictures and documents. None of us are getting any younger, and the passing of each old Kamerad reminds us that we shouldn’t forget what happened on the border. But the information published by the media shows how little German citizens know about everyday life in the Border Troops.
For this reason, there are individuals who desire to make accurate historical information available. And who could do it better than veterans of the GDR Border Troops – enlisted soldiers, noncommissioned officers, warrant officers, and officers? I’ve tried as much as possible to avoid “army speak” and acronyms. Where unavoidable, I’ve written the complete word out so that it makes sense to readers.
Many veterans of the Border Troops desire to exchange views and engage in meaningful dialogue. I’ve come to learn that especially among our veterans who were drafted for their 18-month compulsory national service, the web provides a platform for sharing memories and experiences.
Although the vast majority of soldiers were happy to receive their discharge and return to civilian life, as we get older and remember our service, we remember as it really was. Because our duty on the border was demanding and tough: rotating guard shifts from 0200-1000, 0900-1800, and 1700-0300. After coming off shift, we rotated onto reaction force at the company barracks. Freetime, or getting a pass to go out in town, was a break from the daily routine on the border.
At the age between 18 and 27 years they were drawn to the "honourary service", to the state border of the GDR to Berlin (west) or green border (FRG).
At the age of 18 years I was drawn on Nov. 04th 1986 to the border troops of the GDR. Not due to conviction, but in hope to get a residential permit lateron. Therefore I decided on 3 years to the service with the weapon.
if a conscript who did a three-year-old military service as a noncommissioned officer instead of the one and a half-year-old basic weir service was called in the border troops of the GDR.