Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post–Unification Germany

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The East Germans have been taught only to follow orders. As soon as the fireworks fizzle and the band music fades, 1, Bundeswehr officers will fan out across the former East German territory to assume command of regional units while the Volksarmee leaders are scrutinized for their potential to serve in the new all-German force.

Soldiers hawk their uniform jackets, parade caps and insignia in West Berlin, raking in considerable sums from tourists seeking souvenirs of the Cold War. The East German Ministry for Disarmament and Defense, under the command of pacifist clergyman Rainer Eppelmann, warned recently that the current pace of unauthorized departures threatens to disband the army by the end of the year.

Uwe Hempel in East Berlin.

West Germany currently has about , troops. West German Defense Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg has appealed for patience among the eastern troops, noting that many of them will be needed at least until the end of next year. A parliamentary committee was assembled in early September and charged with reassessing the entire defense structure of a united Germany to determine by December, , where cuts and redeployments should be made.

The only East German servicemen sure to lose their jobs are the 19, members of the border guards and the elite political force that was named for KGB founder Felix Dzerzhinsky.


The dilapidated state of the East German economy will complicate the paring down of the all-German force, as the Defense Ministry will be under pressure not to worsen unemployment in areas heavily dependent on military income. While most of the cuts are expected on the East German side, defense officials concede that some Bundeswehr units may be eliminated as well. During the transition, NATO is prohibited from moving its forces into the territory of East Germany, and no nuclear-capable equipment may be stationed there before the last Soviet soldier leaves by the end of The magazine was headquartered in East Berlin.

East Berlin was the de facto capital city of the German Democratic Republic from to Formally, it was the Soviet sector of Berlin, established in This approximately 80 to page color magazine had an initial print run in of 11, copies.

Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany

In later years up to , copies were published with a readership of 1. The Armeerundschau was popular among soldiers, despite the relatively high price of one Mark. This popularity was primarily because of the clothed pin-ups of women in each issue. The magazine was renamed in , after the fall of the Berlin Wall , with the subtitle "The International Military Magazine".

George C. Marshall Center - European Center for Security Studies - Public Web - Collmer, Sabine

The last issue appeared in July , just three months before the reunification of Germany on 3 October. Up to it was in European size A4, after in A5 size.

It was divided into Pfennig Pf. The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from to Casting a critical eye on Western triumphalism, they provide a new perspective on our own deep-seated assumptions about "soldier making," both at home and abroad. Part Two Being Militarized.

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Works Cited.