German People's Police
The People's Police , abbreviation VP , officially DVP , was the centrally organized police in the Soviet occupation zone and the German Democratic Republic , which underwent various restructuring over the years.
Police in the Soviet occupation zone
In June 1945 the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) allowed the formation of police forces in the Soviet occupation zone. These were based on the state police from the time of the Weimar Republic and were subordinate to the interior ministries of the five countries in the Soviet Zone. When it was set up, almost exclusively members of the KPD were appointed to the management level. At the end of 1946, the SMAD founded the German Administration of the Interior (DVdI) under the direction of KPD veteran Erich Reschke , who was given centralized control of the police. The police authorities were responsible for protection , traffic . Criminal and administrative police responsible. The administrative police comprised the registration, price control and licensing systems within the socialist economy of the eastern zone. The criminal police department K 5 was responsible for denazification measures within the Soviet Zone, which gave the authority an outstanding position of power within the emerging East German state. At the beginning of 1946, the non-militarized police in the Soviet Zone had around 22,000 police officers. By 1948 this number had increased to around 65,000. In addition, there were around 9,600 men in Berlin , which was only informally connected due to the four-power status of the German Interior Administration as an SBZ authority. In 1948, at the instigation of SMAD , Kurt Fischer was appointed head of DVdI . In May 1949, before the GDR was formally founded, the name German People's Police was officially used for the first time . In the year the GDR was founded, around 10,000 people were dismissed from the People's Police due to political unreliability or lack of professional qualifications. The former president of the DVdI Reschke was imprisoned in a Soviet camp because of his work as a prisoner functionary in the Buchenwald concentration camp .
Police service in the post-war period was very difficult. Due to the poverty and mobility of the population, there was primarily a flood of property crimes. Although weapons had already been issued by the Soviet occupation authorities at the beginning of 1946, the police forces were often inferior to criminals due to insufficient armament. The level of training was also poor, the proportion of untrained staff was between 65 and 95%. In the police schools created from 1946 onwards, only a poor range of courses could be offered. It usually only comprised four-week courses. It was noteworthy that the courses also included military elements such as operating in pull strength . At the beginning, the staff of the police were subject to a high turnover of 20% to 50%. In 1948, a control body in line with the SED ideology was created in the form of the Politics and Culture Administration within the police . In 1949 the workforce reached a certain stability with 83% members of the working class and 86% members of the SED party. A main focus of the recruitment was on the prisoners of war returning from the Soviet Union to the Soviet Zone . In 1949, on the instructions of the SMAD, a 3,500-strong company security team was set up in the entire Soviet Zone, subordinate to the People's Police , which in 1951 advanced to become a further branch of the People's Police. In 1951 it comprised 25,000 uniformed and non-uniformed employees for the protection of businesses and state and party institutions. In addition, there were almost 3,000 employees from the plant fire brigades, who were also assigned to the VP. The company security was abolished as an independent branch in 1960 and transferred to the protection police.
When the GDR was founded in 1949, the People's Police were subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior . After the death of Kurt Fischer, Karl Maron became head of the headquarters of the German People's Police (HVDVP) created in the Ministry of the Interior . The HVDVP was in charge of the 14 district sections on GDR territory and a Presidium of the People's Police in East Berlin. The directorates were in charge of a total of 215 people's police district offices . The penal system, officially subordinate to the Ministry of Justice, was also assigned to the People's Police in 1950. The HVDVP was also assigned the overall supervision of all fire services in the GDR . Starting in 1950, the establishment of fast groups of a total of around 5,000 men, mainly from industrial security and training units, which could be deployed in motorized groups, trains and companies in large events and disruptions to public order, began. Likewise, the employees of the prison system and the industrial security department paid attention to the usability of their units in this role. Personnel policy turned out to be difficult for the People's Police. On the one hand, many police officers emigrated to industry because of working conditions and pay, or they were ordered to join the barracked people's police force . This resulted in annual layoff rates of 14 to 17%, the main reason being dismissal due to personal wishes and vacancy rates of around a quarter. Within the armed organs of the SED state, the People's Police had the lowest status. As a result, the SED leadership wanted to save 20,000 people in the People's Police from 1950. Equipping weapons and ammunition was also neglected, so Maron mocked Walter Ulbricht that in a training course for shooting instructors at officer level, a third of the course participants had never fired a weapon during their previous service. In 1952 the People's Police began to set up a helper system in which volunteers from the People's Police were integrated into the police work. The number of these helpers grew from around 27,000 at the end of 1952 to around 160,000 at the end of 1960. In December of the same year, the People's Police began to set up the section authorized system, which should enforce a penetration of civil life at the place of residence of the people. Despite efforts to increase armament, a deficit of around 29% in firearms remained in 1959. In addition to firearms, the People's Police also received a number of hand grenades , heavy machine guns , anti-tank rifles , 14 water cannon vehicles and 320 armored vehicles.
During the uprising of June 17, 1953 , the People's Police, under the leadership of the Soviet armed forces in the GDR, participated in the suppression of the uprising. The leadership of the SED and the People's Police interpreted the uprising and deployment of the Soviet Army as a security debacle. After the uprising, Maron achieved 15,000 new jobs for the security police near Ulbricht. Likewise, the paramilitary component was to be strengthened by the formation of the People's Police , which were organized paramilitary and separated from the DVP within the Interior Ministry. Every candidate should serve one year in a standby state, people police officers who have been working for a longer period should make up at least six months of standby time. Furthermore, the military training of the People's Police was intensified in the 1950s, among other things, all People's Police officers had to complete a two-year military boarding course for two years. The focus was on street and house fighting.
Even before the construction of the Wall began in 1960, the armament of the People's Police was standardized. Generals and police officers were uniformly armed with 7.65mm pistols. All other members of the People's Police should fall back on the Makarov . The People's Police participated in numerous functions in the construction of the Berlin Wall . After the wall was built, the armed organs of the GDR were restructured. The German Border Police was spun off from the Ministry of the Interior and added to the Ministry of National Defense. In 1962 the main administration of the German People's Police was abolished as an intermediate instance between the regional people's police authorities and the Ministry of the Interior. From March 1963, the Central Committee of the SED received reports on internal problems with the People's Police, in particular poor morale and political reliability among the police force. The group-wise consumption of Western media was also noted as morally serious. In the course of the affair, Karl Maron was dismantled as Minister of the Interior and replaced by Friedrich Dickel . Under his leadership, numerous new internal rules and regulations were introduced within the People's Police. As a result of the construction of the wall and the expanding education system, the level of education of new applicants increased by 10% from the early 1960s with a comprehensive school leaving certificate and high school diploma to around half of each year. The state socialist police model of the People's Police was also enshrined in law in 1968 through the Law on the Duties and Powers of the People's Police . In addition to the original security policy task of the police, the People's Police were committed to the state ideology and had to support it through educational measures for the population in the interests of the party. In the mid-1970s, the arming of the People's Police reached its peak. According to the 1975 plan, the People's Police were to have 180,000 submachine guns (including the AK-47 assault rifle in the West), around 215,000 pistols and around 45,000 submachine guns of the Scorpion type . The DVP schools continued to provide basic training in anti-aircraft artillery, heavy machine guns and anti-tank weapons. In the mid-seventies, around 5,000 irritant gas throwers were purchased, as well as 63 sniper rifles of the Dragunow model for the criminal police. From 1975 onwards, due to the poor economic situation in the GDR, there were no more significant improvements or retrofitting of the material.
July 1st was celebrated as People's Police Day from the early 1960s . Previously, June 1st was this day, which was also celebrated as Children's Day in the GDR . In 1987 the Presidium of the People's Police in Berlin organized a "historical pageant".
Turning point and reunification
During the fall of the Wall, people's police officers were used with batons in Dresden to prevent GDR citizens from jumping on trains to the West. On October 7, 1989, the People's Police were also used against demonstrators in Berlin. This resulted in serious bodily harm, refusal to provide assistance by the officers and harassment of prisoners. According to later investigations, the level of violence used by the security forces against their own citizens was disturbing on both sides. In the further course of the event, the SED refrained from attempts to suppress the demonstrations by force. From November 4, 1989, there was even cooperation between the People's Police and the organizers of a large demonstration on Alexanderplatz in Berlin. Under the Modrow government , Friedrich Dickel, who had been Minister of the Interior for decades and thus also Chief of Police, was replaced by Lothar Ahrendt . The office of the interior minister was separated from the office of the people's police chief.
After reunification in 1990, thousands left the People's Police due to MfS activity or service, as they hoped that they would not be used in the state police of the now reunified Federal Republic. The younger ranks were most likely to have a chance of being used in the police force. The leadership positions of the newly established state police authorities were filled by West German colleagues.
The People's Police was finally divided into the following branches:
- Protection police, including water protection police and industrial security
- Traffic police
- Criminal police
- Transport police
- Passport and registration systems and
- fire Department
Military service in the barracked units of the MdI
- VP readiness
- Officers college of the MdI - readiness - "Artur Becker"
- Office of the DVP Blumberg in Freudenberg
- Companies of the transport police and
- independent units
The head of the DVP was the Minister of the Interior, who until 1963 headed it through the DVP's main administration (HV DVP) in the Ministry of the Interior. From 1963 onwards, his first deputy headed the branches. The central authorities were 14 district authorities of the DVP (BDVP) and the Presidium of the VP Berlin (PdVP). The lowest level of the police organization was formed by the VP District Offices (VPKA), which maintained VP precincts , guards and group posts as branch offices , as well as VP Inspections (VPI) in the East Berlin city districts. In the municipalities and districts, full-time section officers (ABV) were deployed, who were supported by around 158,000 volunteers as voluntary auxiliary police officers .
The approximately 12,000 men strong VP readiness units were barracked military service units , referred to as barracked units of the MdI , which were primarily intended to combat political unrest and were subordinate to the Deputy Minister for readiness / combat groups . In the fall of 1989, only a few basic military personnel were deployed against the population, as 2,100 men were deployed in the national economy. Units of the VP readiness are often confused with the rifle platoons of the Central Forces Security Police .
A legal basis for the VP was only created with the law on the tasks and powers of the DVP of June 11, 1968. With the state restoration of German unity in 1990, the VP was dissolved and transferred to the new state police. For a short transition period until the adoption of their own police laws, the DVP law continued to apply as state law in the new federal states.
Were ministers of the interior
Were chief of the German People's Police
Minister of the Interior and Chief of the German People's Police
The last chief of the German People's Police was
- Dieter Winderlich (1990)
|DVP // Criminal Police||NVA
(land / air)
|NVA (People's Navy)|
|Constable and crew|
|Candidate for the VP / the K // from May 1, 1990 criminal investigator||soldier||sailor|
Unterwachtmeister of the VP / the K // from May 1, 1990 criminal assistant
(introduced in 1951)
|Wachtmeister of the VP / the K // from May 1, 1990 criminal assistant||Corporal||Staff sailor|
|Unterführer and NCOs|
|Oberwachtmeister of the VP / the K // from May 1, 1990 chief detective assistant||Sergeant||Mate|
|(no equivalent)||Sergeant major||Chief mate|
|Chief Constable of the VP / the K // from May 1, 1990 Chief Detective Assistant||sergeant||master|
|Master of the VP / the K // from May 1, 1990 criminal secretary||Sergeant Major||Chief master|
|Chief Master of the VP / the K (introduced in 1961) // from May 1, 1990 Chief Criminal Secretary||Staff Sergeant||Chief of Staff|
|Officer student||Officer student|
Sub-lieutenant of the VP or the criminal police
until July 15, 1957 and again since May 1, 1990: (criminal) sub-commissioner ; Introduced in 1951
Lieutenant of the VP or the criminal police
until July 15, 1957 and again since May 1, 1990: (criminal) inspector
First lieutenant of the VP or the criminal police
until July 15, 1957 and again since May 1, 1990: (Kriminal-) Oberkommissar
|First lieutenant||First lieutenant|
Captain of the VP or the criminal police
until July 15, 1957: (Criminal) Council, since May 1, 1990: (Criminal) Chief Inspector
Major in the VP or the criminal police
until July 15, 1957: Oberrat , since May 1, 1990: (Criminal) Council
Lieutenant Colonel of the VP or the criminal police
until July 15, 1957: Commander, since May 1, 1990: (Criminal) Chief Councilor
|Lieutenant colonel||Frigate captain|
Colonel of the VP or the criminal police
until July 15, 1957: inspector , since May 1, 1990: (criminal) director
(until July 15, 1957 and again since May 1, 1990: Chief Inspector )
|Major general||Rear admiral|
(until July 15, 1957 and again since May 1, 1990: Inspector General )
|Lieutenant General||Vice admiral|
(until July 15, 1957 Chief of the German People's Police; abolished on May 1, 1990)
(since 1984 rank of Minister of the Interior and Chief of the German People's Police; abolished on May 1, 1990)
|Army General||Fleet Admiral|
Notes: The DVP had no external equivalent for the rank group or career of ensigns introduced into the NVA in 1974 . Senior masters of the VP received ensign salaries for comparable positions.
The shoulder boards of the sergeants and sergeants differ in the case of the police and VP readiness.
The ranks of the prison service established in 1967 corresponded to those of the uniformed people's police until the end of April 1990, but included the addition of the prison service or the SV . From May to October 1990, the SV ranks followed those of the criminal police (e.g. sub-assistant of the SV). An exception was the elevated career with the ranks of sub-inspector (= sub-commissioner / sub-lieutenant) to main inspector (= main commissioner / captain); the higher SV ranks again followed the example of the Kripo.
The underlay or piping indicates the branch of the People's Police: Schutzpolizei - dark green, standby - light green, transport police - blue, transport police standby - light blue, fire brigade - black, penal system - gray.
Oath of service
At the beginning of the employment relationship, the following oath of office had to be taken:
“ I swear to be loyal to my socialist fatherland, the German Democratic Republic and its government at all times, to keep official and state secrets and to strictly adhere to the laws and instructions.
I will ceaselessly strive to perform my official duties conscientiously, honestly, courageously, disciplined and vigilantly.
I swear that, without sparing my energies, even at the risk of my life, I will protect the socialist society, state and legal system, socialist property, the personality, the rights and personal property of the citizens from criminal attacks.
Should I nevertheless break this solemn oath of mine, I may be punished by the laws of our republic. "
Since 1962, the DVP had its own university in Berlin-Biesdorf , where around 3,500 officers were trained by 1989. There were also several technical schools. The barracked units had their own training facilities. Officers were initially trained by the NVA land forces, from 1963 at the officers 'school and from 1971 at the officers' college - readiness - in Dresden-Wilder Mann . Temporary sub-leaders at the sub-leader school in Liegau or after relocation in Dresden until they are dissolved.
- VP school " Ernst Thälmann ", Neustrelitz (central school for beginners since 1984)
- Section Representative School , Wolfen
- Transport Police School, Halle (Saale)
- Traffic Police School " Hans Beimler ", Magdeburg
- News School, Dommitzsch
- Special school of the MdI for service dogs , Pretzsch (Elbe)
- Special school of the MdI for medical services (in the Magdeburg district )
- Technical school of the MdI " Heinrich Rau ", Radebeul
- Technical college of the MdI, " Wilhelm Pieck ", Aschersleben , today Technical College of Police Saxony-Anhalt
- Technical school of the MdI "Hermann Matern" Heyrothsberge (training of fire service officers)
- School of supply services of the MdI, " Fritz Schmenkel ", Bautzen (today the State Police School of Saxony)
- University of the VP "Karl Liebknecht" , Berlin-Biesdorf (Cecilienstraße) (today district: Section 62, Berlin Police)
- Officers college of the Ministry of the Interior Artur Becker - readiness ( Dresden , Trachau district , Neuländer Str. 60, today seat of the State Criminal Police Office of Saxony )
- Unterführer school of the MdI readiness "Kurt Schlosser", Dresden
- Humboldt University of Berlin / Criminology Section
- Prison school "August Meyer", Karl-Marx-Stadt
The People's Police most recently had around 80,000 full-time police officers and 177,500 "volunteers" . From the so-called section authorized persons z. B. controlled the house books . Via the personal identification number (PKZ) , the DVP and the MfS were able to receive all information stored in various databases about every citizen.
When the GDR joined the Federal Republic on October 3, 1990 , police sovereignty passed to the newly formed federal states, and around 40 percent of DVP employees had to retire from service.
On the 40th anniversary of the People's Police, Erich Honecker awarded the Karl Marx Order and the Red Honorary Banner of the SED Central Committee at the suggestion of the Politburo of the SED Central Committee and the Presidium of the Council of Ministers of the GDR .
- 9th People's Police Company
- German border police
- The People's Police (magazine)
- Volunteers of the People's Police
- Murder Investigation Board
- Transport police
- People's Police readiness
- Central Forces Protection Police
- Orchestra of the German People's Police
- People's Police Union
- Karl-Heinz Kriz, Hans-Jürgen Gräfe (Ed.): In the middle. The Berlin People's Police 1989/90 , edition ost, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-360-01857-1 .
- Dieter Schulze: The big book of the German People's Police. Stories - Tasks - Uniforms , Das Neue Berlin, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-360-01080-3 .
- Torsten Diedrich , Hans Ehlert , Rüdiger Wenzke (eds.): In the service of the party. Handbook of the armed organs of the GDR (research on GDR history). 2nd edition Chr. Links, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-86153-160-7 .
- Torsten Diedrich, Hans-Hermann Hertle (ed.): "Hornet" alert. The secret chief reports of the People's Police on June 17, 1953 . Metropol, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-936411-27-1 .
- Thomas Lindenberger : People's Police. Rule practice and public order in the SED state 1952–1968 (contemporary historical studies; vol. 23). Böhlau, Weimar 2003, ISBN 3-412-02003-6 (plus habilitation thesis, University of Potsdam 2002).
- Author collective (MdI): History of the German People's Police . Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1987 (2 vols.).
- 1945–1961 .
- 1961-1985 .
- Author collective: On the history of the German People's Police . Publisher: BDVP Frankfurt (Oder) Political Department, Design and Printing: Printer “Neuer Tag”, Frankfurt (Oder), 3 volumes.
- ~ in the Oder district of Frankfurt (Oder) 1945–1949 .
- ~ in the Oder district of Frankfurt (Oder) 1949–1952 .
- Fight against the floods in the Oderbruch .
- Author collective (MdI): Historical outline of the structure and development of the people's police readiness 1945–1985 . Berlin 1988 (preprint).
- Peter Joachim Lapp: Border regime of the GDR. Helios, Aachen 2013, ISBN 978-3-86933-087-7 .
- Organizational chart of a People's Police District Office (executive officer position only up to the end of the 1960s; PDF)
- Uniforms and equipment of the people's police officers
- Extensive information about the DVP
- Brockhaus. The encyclopedia in 24 volumes (1796-2001), Volume 23: 3-7653-3683-1, p. 396 "Volkspolizei"
- Thomas Lindenberger: Die Deutsche Volkspolizei ( 1945-1990 ) in Hans Ehlert, Rüdiger Wenzke (ed.): In the service of the party - Handbook of the armed organs of the GDR , Berlin, 1998 pp. 98-100
- Thomas Lindenberger: The German People's Police (1945–1990) in Hans Ehlert, Rüdiger Wenzke (ed.): In the service of the party - Handbook of the armed organs of the GDR , Berlin, 1998 pp. 100–102
- Thomas Lindenberger: Die Deutsche Volkspolizei (1945–1990) in Hans Ehlert, Rüdiger Wenzke (ed.): In the service of the party - Handbook of the armed organs of the GDR , Berlin, 1998 p. 104
- Thomas Lindenberger: The German People's Police (1945–1990) in Hans Ehlert, Rüdiger Wenzke (ed.): In the service of the party - Handbook of the armed organs of the GDR , Berlin, 1998 pp. 103–110, p. 639
- Thomas Lindenberger: Die Deutsche Volkspolizei (1945–1990) in Hans Ehlert, Rüdiger Wenzke (ed.): In the service of the party - Handbook of the armed organs of the GDR , Berlin, 1998 p. 106, p. 112f
- Thomas Lindenberger: Die Deutsche Volkspolizei (1945–1990) in Hans Ehlert, Rüdiger Wenzke (ed.): In the service of the party - Handbook of the armed organs of the GDR, Berlin, 1998 p. 128–135, p. 144
- Thomas Lindenberger: The German People's Police (1945–1990) in Hans Ehlert, Rüdiger Wenzke (ed.): In the service of the party - Handbook of the armed organs of the GDR, Berlin, 1998, pp. 140f
- Law on the tasks and powers of the German People's Police of June 11, 1968
- Volkspolizei , on ddr-geschichte.de
- Under the leadership of the party - always ready for peace and socialism - 40th anniversary of the People's Police - Ministry of the Interior - Political Administration. Ag 106/0061/85 - page 16