Title: Die deutsche volkspolizei
Photographer(s): Various photographers
Designer(s): Otto Haikenwälder
Publisher(s): Politische Verwaltung des Ministeriums des Inneren, Dresden, ex DDR, Germany
Size: 24,5 x 32 cm
Print: Ratsdruckerei Dresden,ex DDR, Germany
Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: ex DDR, Germany, 1965
This book deal with the history of teh Volkspolizei (People's Police) whose officers were commonly nicknamed VoPos.
After the surrender of the National Socialist regime on 8 May 1945, not only was the country in ruins, but also all state organs, especially the security institutions. For this reason, only a few weeks later, leading officials of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), with the approval of the Soviet Military Administration for Germany (SMAD), issued the first instructions for the creation of police forces in the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ), which were then officially united as the German People's Police (DVP) from 1 July 1945, and from which border police and riot squads were also formed shortly afterwards. When recruiting new security forces, it was stipulated that no old police officers should be used. Therefore, mainly anti-fascists (including preferably communists) were appointed to command positions in the police stations. In the reconstruction of the police authorities, structures from the Weimar Republic were used. As a result, individual and group police stations, districts and local and district authorities were created at local level. In the course of the formation of the federal states (Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and Thuringia), state police authorities were also created. On Soviet instructions, the German Interior Administration (DVdI) was formed in 1946, which in the course of time developed into the central interstate management body for the police authorities of the five federal states. Only communists and reliable members of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) were in charge of building up the police authorities on the German side.
The book offers other insights into the Volkspolizei, in fact they were essentially a military organisation, not just a police force, but a second army in effect (see the uniforms and the attitude of the Volkspolizei). They worked closely with the Stasi, that's why Volkspolizei was disbanded after German reunification.