An Editorial Comment
by Otto Diederichs
In May of 1951 the first 1800 members of the recently created Federal Border Protection entered their barracks at St. Hubertus in the state of Slesvig-Holstein. Initially planned as a paramilitary command designed to fill the gap of the then non-existent West German Army (Bundeswehr), the tasks and as-signments of the command have changed over the years via becoming a pa-ramilitary police reserve unit on constant alert status for civil unrest to a multi-purpose federal police command. The command has lost but little of its military character. Civil Liberties and Police has gone to great effort to ca-talogue the broad range of added tasks and the changes which have been placed over the years within and around the Federal Border Guard.
A Short History of the Federal Border Guard
by Martin Winter
The history of the Federal Border Guard is characterized by its ambivalent status in the territory between a uniformed military unit and a police organization. Initially it was conceived as a paramilitary organization to be deployed against (communist directed) rebellions and partisan groups. The creation of the Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in 1955 and passage of the Emergency Acts of 1968 made it possible to structure the Federal Border Guard in the direction of a regular police organization. Its new tasks became highly linked with dealing with groups of protesters and protest movement, thus causing it to gradually become recognized as a ‚protest police‘ force. It thus gradually became the regular chaperon of the New Social Movements. The unification of 1990 again opened a new chapter in the history of the or-ganization. The author’s article basically traces these developments in chro-nological order from the early days to the present.
FBG – The Federal Cops
by Wolf-Dieter Narr
Although the reality of dangers to the ‚domestic security‘ of the Federal Republic has fundamentally changed, although the Federal Republic has and is re-arming, although the constitution has been changed to fit the needs of emergency laws, and although the Cold War has melted away and the two half-states have become united into a new Federal Republic – the FBG lives on despite all developments to the contrary. It grows with these changes to the same extent that its tasks change, shift and also grow and grow. The important steps, which took place in 1951, 1956, 1968/72 and now 1992-94 are examples of how often the FBG was threatened by having lost its ‚raison d’etre‘ and yet still continued to exist and has gradually developed into a Federal Police Force with nearly omnipotent responsibilities.
Listening Post Federal Border Police
Documentation of 9a of the New Federal Border Police Bill (concerning the support of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the field of radio surveillance) including a comment by Heiner Busch.
What’s The State of the Federal Border Guard?
by Otto Diederichs
At the time the Federal Border Guard (FBG) was established in 1951 many former members of the Wehrmacht (the Armed Force of the Third Reich) found a new home and employment there. Although roughly 10.000 of the old soldiers moved over to the newly created Bundeswehr (the Armed forces of the FRG) five years later this had little effect on the basically military hierarchy structures within the FBG. The restructuralization undertaken in 1976 towards a more police task force oriented profile appears to have had little effect either. The article highlights some of the characteristics of the inner state of affairs within the FBG.
FBG Missions under International Command
by Otto Diederichs
On May 15th 1989 the incumbent Secretary General of the United Nations, Perez de Cuellar, informed Germany’s Undersecretary of State in the Foreign Ministry of his intention to deploy an international police contingent to Namibia. This contingent which was to be given the task of monitoring Namibia’s peaceful transition into independence ought to include between 30 and 50 German members in its contingent. With the exception of the GREENS all of the parties in the Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, were immediately willing to answer the UN call and send police forces into Namibia. What was, back in 1989, to be a „one-time exception“ began to be repeated with ever greater frequency despite the fact that to this day there is no legal foundation for such missions.
The Federal Border Guard at the Frankfurt Airport
by Jürgen Korell
On April 1, 1952 the Federal Border Guard took over the task of passport control at Frankfurt Central Airport, thus positioning itself at Germany’s central air-traffic crossroads. When the responsibility for air-traffic security was transferred to the FRG in January of 1993 the approximately 700 members of the organization assumed authority over those employees of Frankfurt Airport Corp. responsible for passenger and luggage control. Revision of refugee entrance and residence legislation which went into effect in January of 1993 has brought a lot of new work and considerable public scrutiny to the FBG (every month 1.000 aliens face deportation from the airport premises). The role of the FBG in this activity is the central point of focus in this article.
The Border Protection Group 9 (BPG)
by Otto Diederichs
Established in 1972/73 at estimated costs ranging between 5 and 15 million German marks the Border Protection Group 9 was organizationally attached to the Border Protection Command West and stationed at St. Augustine near Bonn. Since then little has changed in terms of the organizational structure of the 180-man unit. At the heart of each of the four BPG units, including 2 ob-servation units 1 amphibious unit and 1 paratroops unit are the assault teams comprised of 30 members each which are further broken down into smaller 5-man ’special deployment teams‘ which are the smallest tactical entity within the command. Perhaps more interesting than the details of functions and armaments are the actual assignments which the units have been given in these years. Here, we discover a pattern quite different from that projected by their highly publicized liberation of hijacking hostages in Mogadischu (1977), the Red Army Faction arrests (1982) and the bloody confrontation in Bad Kleinen in 1993.
Border Police Support Forces (BPSF)
by Katina Schubert
Created in the spring of 1993, the Border Police Support Forces have been deployed along Germany’s eastern borders to assist Federal Border Protection officers in accordance with the Schengen Accords in sealing off Germany’s eastern borders against refugees from the east, wholesale stolen car smuggling and professionalized smuggling of illegal border trespassers and petty crime being committed along these borders. A major personnel recruiting campaign staged in the border regions aimed at „duty-minded, action-oriented men and women committed to helping protect our borders“ was staged by the Federal Border Protection administration. The result was the recruitment of a large group of young volunteers in the age group between 20 and 30, nearly 50% of whom are women and nearly all of who were previously unemployed. The BPSF are considered to be an important instrument in „diminishing the attractiveness“ of attempting to trespass German borders for refugees and professional smuggling groups in an effort to increase the effectiveness of the Federal Border Guard.
Fatal Police Shootings in 1993
by Otto Diederichs
In the past year 15 persons died as a result of police use of firearms. This is the highest number in the past ten years. In 1983 CILIP registered a total of 24 fatal police shootings, the highest number recorded since CILIP began its counting procedures. The fatalities of Bad Kleinen were not included in these totals despite considerable reservations with respect to the exclusions. Officially, Wolfgang Grams‘ death has been declared a suicide. Numerous idiosyncrasies and curious coincidences which arose in conjunction with the investigation of the incident and the production of expert opinions give – at the very least – due cause for considerable doubts as to the reliability of the reporting of what really ensued. For this reason, the incident has been dealt with as a separate case. In addition, an additional police shooting fatality during 1992 is provided as an update to last year’s statistics.
Constitutional Protection by Breach of the Law
by Udo Kauß
In 1991 for the first time in history a data-protection commissioner was to be elected in the state of Brandenburg. Dr. Thilo Weichert, an expert in the field of data protection, ran for the office as a candidate for COALITION 90/GREENS. Weichert is a GREENS politician who served as a member of the GREENS state parliament group between 1982 and 1984 also serving in the capacity of penal affairs expert for his party during that time. At the same time he also participated in the activities of the peace movement, thus landing on a collision course with the courts on several occasions. During his candidacy he was an employee of the state assembly of Baden-Württemberg on loan to the state of Saxony. In lose cooperation with Rosemarie Fuchs, an FDP representative in the state assembly of Brandenburg, the Federal Bureau of the Constitutional Guard, sabotaged his candidacy.
Racist Police Brutality in Berlin
by Hans-Joachim Ehrig
„In no case have past investigations of police officers supported claims of police racism and/or criminal brutality on the part of Berlin police officers“ is the official response of Berlin’s Senator of the Interior on February 2, 1993 to a parliamentary inquiry entertained by the COALITION ’90/GREENS representative, Wolfgang Wieland. The author, a practicing attorney in Berlin, paints a somewhat different picture based upon his own day-to-day experiences in his own practice and other official data.