Transferring from the East German Army (NVA) to the unified German Army (Bundeswehr)


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We continue Steffen’s story where he tells of serving in three armies – firstly, the NVA, secondly the East German Army between the first free elections and unification, and finally the unified Bundeswehr.

Listen to his previous episode here

We start the episode in the Autumn of 1989 where demonstrations are growing against the government in nearby Leipzig and Steffen’s unit is on high alert and confined to barracks. It is clear East Germany is on the cusp of change, however what will be the impact on Steffen and his comrades?

Steffen describes these tense days when rumours abounded of military action against the demonstrators, as well as how he heard about the fall of Honecker and the opening of the border. We also hear about his experiences as the NVA transitions after the first free elections in East Germany and momentum builds for reunification.

Steffen accepts a place in the new unified German army and we hear about the day command is handed over to the Bundeswehr and how he has to learn a different way of thinking, such as the new doctrine of personal responsibility.

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Radio GDR
If you are interested in East Germany we can highly recommend our friends over at Radio GDR.

Disbanding of the NVA, 2-3 October, 1990

Longer version here.