Travel cadre

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GDR passport

Reisekader ( GDR : cadre who is allowed to travel to the West ) was the term used in the GDR to refer to a person from the state or party apparatus or public life (athletes, artists, scientists) and the GDR economy, where the prevailing restriction of Freedom to travel did not apply.

The persons in question were checked and confirmed by Department XIX of the Ministry for State Security (MfS). People who were confirmed as a travel cadre received a GDR passport .

According to Horst Roigk from the MfS Department XVIII, the number of travel cadres is said to have amounted to around 40,000 people.

Since these were "reliable" citizens of the GDR, many were obliged to submit mandatory reports to the MfS . There are different views on the quality of these reports. Failure to write a report despite being requested to do so could result in the withdrawal of travel cadre status. In general, however, the writing of reports was not an obligation for all travel cadres, as children and young people, for example, could also fall into this category.

Usage today

In today's parlance, the term “travel cadre” also stands for a member of a mostly smaller political organization who frequently changes residence or travels between local member groups of his organization in order to support them in their development.


  • Jens Niederhut: Die Reisekader: Selection and discipline of a privileged minority in the GDR . Series of publications by the Saxon State Commissioner for the Processing of the SED dictatorship, Volume 4, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-374-02339-8 .
  • »The system of travel cadres as an instrument of GDR science policy«, in: German Bundestag (ed.), Enquete -ommission, Vol. IV / 2, pp. 1597–1688.

Web links

  • Jens Niederhut: Reisekader ,

Individual evidence

  1. Horst Roigk: ZWIE-GESPRÄCH No. 28/29 (1995), pages 12 - 23, The activity of the former MfS to secure the economy of the GDR