East German Army Bullying, Serving in a Brigade HQ and Military Exercises

Warning: This episode does cover the subject of suicide. If you need help please use these links:

Tilo shares his raw and powerful testimony of a young man conscripted into the East German military at the height of Cold War tensions. He recounts the daunting prospect of being drafted into the border guards, an assignment he was determined to avoid at all costs due to his moral opposition to the Berlin Wall and the potential to be forced into shooting unarmed escapers.

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Tilo vividly describes the intense medical and psychological scrutiny he faced from military officials and shares the ingenious way he ensured he wouldn’t be placed in the border guards, a tactic that involved a bold statement of conscience in front of a military panel.

The episode also delves into the harsh realities of East German military life, from the ritual humiliations of new recruits to the tragic story of a comrade’s suicide attempt under the pressures of service. We explore the psychological toll of such an environment and the coping mechanisms soldiers use to survive.

Tilo also describes working in an artillery brigade headquarters, an unusual tactic to prevent Allied Military Liaison Missions from identifying their vehicles and an attack by East German paratroops during an exercise.

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