Civil Protection Corps

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The Civil Protection Corps (ZSK) was a planned full-time civil protection organization in the Federal Republic of Germany , the establishment of which was planned with the adoption of the "Law on the Civil Protection Corps" of August 12, 1965. Due to budgetary restrictions, however, the law was initially temporarily suspended by the Budget Securing Act passed in December of the same year. The Financial Amendment Act, passed two years later on December 21, 1967, suspended the time limit, and efforts to lift the suspension failed in the following years due to financial considerations. As a result, the implementation of the Civil Protection Corps Act only resulted in the establishment of deployment staffs, but the actual units of the ZSK never existed. As a result of the reorganization of the responsibilities and structures in the area of ​​civil protection, which resulted from the “Law on the Expansion of Disaster Protection” passed in 1968, the establishment of the civil protection corps was finally eliminated.


The planned tasks of the Civil Protection Corps were to combat damage caused by armed forces - especially weapons of mass destruction - in the event of a defense, and to protect the civilian population from the consequences of such damage. It should support the existing facilities of the local authorities , such as the air raid support service. He was also allowed to support these forces if there was a disaster and the case of defense or the case of tension had not been established. If this is the case, the ZSK would only have been possible if the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) had approved it.

Another task of the ZSK resulted from the fact that in view of the increase in the basic military service to 18 months, which was considered necessary for military reasons for the operational capability of the troops, and the still low number of conscientious objectors in the 1960s with the fixed maximum size of the Bundeswehr, which one neither wanted nor was allowed to exceed, a substantial part of the conscripts could not be called up to the military and in view of this the question of military justice arose .

According to the fourth Geneva Convention, the ZSK was only allowed to take on civil protection tasks and was therefore not allowed to be used for military activities. His relatives were therefore under the protection of this convention and were considered civilians under international law .

Organization and responsibilities

The regulations regarding the ZSK stationing locations should be enacted by the federal states; the law expressly names schools and equipment depots of the corps as state tasks. However, the exact strength and organizational structure was determined by the federal government. In addition, the leaders of the ZSK should receive additional training from the federal government, and special courses should also take place in accordance with federal regulations.

The federal government was also responsible for monitoring the level of training and equipment. For this purpose, an inspector of the civil protection corps was set up at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, analogous to the inspector of the riot police of the federal states. In addition, the federal government was authorized to carry out procurements on its own responsibility if the Federal Council approved. The ZSK was only allowed to be used by the highest state authorities, and the BMI could subordinate itself to units if the situation required it.

The implementation of the plans for the establishment of the ZSK never got beyond the establishment of assembly poles. In particular, there were no units capable of serving at any time.

Emergency services

In the planning for the ZSK, three groups of helpers were distinguished. The division, which corresponded to the possibilities of military service, included conscripts , professional members and members on time.

For the group of conscripts , conscripts were planned, who were supposed to fulfill their service obligations at the ZSK. The duration of compulsory service and a number of other regulations resulted from the Soldiers Act . The plans for compulsory service included, among other things, basic training of four months duration, exercises of a maximum duration of one month each over a total period of twelve months, unlimited service in the event of a defense as well as service according to the order of the highest state authority (so-called "standby"), if the A state of defense had occurred or was imminent. The military replacement authorities were responsible for all matters relating to compulsory service. Registration monitoring analogous to military monitoring was provided for conscripts .

Employment within the framework of a special type of public service relationship was planned for the professional relatives, which in certain aspects resembled the employment relationship of a soldier. According to the plans, there should be both team and sub-leader and leader careers. The following careers and ranks were planned:

  • Teams: Schutzkorpsmann; Squad leader; Senior squad leader; Main troop leader
  • Unterführer: Sergeant; Sergeant major; Chief constable; Master; Chief master; Staff master; Chief Staff Master
  • Candidate leader: Schutzkorpsmann; Squad leader; Constable; Chief constable; Chief master
  • Platoon leader: platoon leader; Oberzugführer
  • Staff leader: standby leader; Department head / medical officer; Head of Department / Senior Medical Officer; Area manager / area doctor
  • Senior Area Leader
  • ZSK inspector

The addition “in the civil protection corps” (“in the ZSK”) was added to all ranks.

The conscripts took an oath , the professional relatives an oath :

“I swear (I vow) to serve the Federal Republic of Germany faithfully, to fight dangers for the general public with all my strength and to fulfill my duties. (So ​​help me God.) "


  • The Federal Minister of the Interior (ed.): White paper on the civil defense of the Federal Republic of Germany. Public relations department of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Bonn 1972

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. the remarks by Defense Minister Strauss in the 11th session of the 4th Ger. Bundestag, January 19, 1962, in particular: “This includes, however, that the implementation of conscription must remain selective to a certain extent in the future. [...] [W] e will probably not be able to exceed two thirds of the conscripts in the foreseeable future when enlisted for 18 months of basic military service. I have always been a supporter of a duty of defense [...] The Federal Government has therefore always strongly emphasized the need for civil protection of the population [.] " [1]