TITLE

The Double Task of the East German Border Guards: Policing the Border and Military Functions

AUTHOR(S)
Maurer, Jochen; Sälter, Gerhard
PUB. DATE
August 2011
SOURCE
German Politics & Society;8/15/2011, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p23
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The border guards were what made the Berlin Wall both function and lethal. Without them, people could escape nearly without any hindrance. Thus, it is crucial to understand the role of the border guards, who they were, and how they were prepared for their duty. They had a double task: preventing citizens, in most cases respectable and unarmed, from fleeing; and serving as an initial front-line defense in case of war. The military aspect of their mission, however, remained hypothetical, whereas preventing escapes became their daily duty. The duplicity of their task, with the military aspect determining armament, training, and structure no doubt increased the number of fatalities at the border.
ACCESSION #
63157798

 

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