A guard soldier in the "Fuchsbau" of the NVA remembers

A guard soldier in the "Fuchsbau" of the NVA remembers


I stood 184 watches in the Fuchsbau as a 19-year-old. Drawn as a Mot. gunner, I had to fill out some questionnaires in Strausberg during A Company time. The lynchpin was whether western relatives were there. After the first 6 weeks of training, where we were taught how to walk, greet, build cabinets and beds, we had to take about 20 soldiers with the rank of airman on a truck.
No destination was mentioned, even the instructors acted stupid. Mysterious uncertainty until the tarpaulin was opened.
Only so much was clear, that we had driven 40-50 km and were now allowed to dismount in a forest. A two-story building, in front of which a concrete road ended in a circle.
Strange was that the road and the buildings wore camouflage color..
IIn the head building, we were briefed on the secrecy regulations and everyone had to sign for them.
The details on our uniforms that identified us as belonging to the airmen had to be immediately exchanged for gray shoulder pieces.
The address was just a post office box number with a name but no rank. Then we went to the neighboring building, the accommodation for the guard company. A good 30 steps high, built very flat with a long central corridor. Until the weekend we had political lessons ,guard briefings and weapon cleaning. After the 24 hours of guard duty we could go out to Fürstenwalde. Up to the first pub, the "Fliederheim" it was about 3 km. The beer did not taste "cultivated", but also cost only 41 pfennigs. The service mostly unfriendly, the pub not overly clean.
A large part of the soldiers took the trouble to go by bus further into the city.
We were told exactly which pubs to avoid.
The pay was 80,- Marks, later as a private there was 125,-Mark and for restaurant visits remained not much, if one still needed cigarettes.
My buddy Pfeifer and I, but we still liked to walk in Fürstenwalde and returned to 22.oo clock "full as the buckets".
The trick was to see where Russian officers (in civilian clothes) were "mugging". We asked if there were any seats left at the table, "bought a round of beers" and then were usually "poured on" with vodka.

Around the object there were two zones, separately guarded by patrolling soldiers. In the area around the bunker there were two more barbed wire fences with a raked strip of sand in the middle. A round was approx. 1 km and one had 1 hour time for it. With a large accumulator lamp always a quarter of the sand strip should be illuminated at night on traces. I had to stand on a wooden watch tower during the first weeks. This was the most casual way, because with three wall boards loosened, one could stretch out on the board without fear of being surprised, with two boards lying crosswise on the hatch, making entry impossible. The side windows pushed up, I always pulled the breech of my Kalashnikov through out of boredom and the cartridges fell one after the other on the plank floor. Once when I pulled through a little too fast, a cartridge flew through the open window. I searched for about 1 hour down in the sand and then found it with the primer up. One then marveled at how neat and clean it looked under my tower. Then the post towers were abolished and two soldiers had to run laps. But the fact is that only the OvD was guarded.... .

If the OvD slept, then the whole guard platoon slept as well. In the guard room and in the sleeping room the posts grunted and snored along. As soon as the OvD got up, the posts were awakened and then ran "like chickens", as fast as possible to their areas. One Captain Bloch had the ambition ,to transfer us. When he had OvD, he secretly made tracks between the barbed wire fences and then waited for the alarm, which, however, was not triggered, because "no pig" dragged the large battery lamp for illumination. The fuss backfired and "fizzled out" to no effect.

Or the thing with the display cabinet for the soldiers who were on patrol with a plug phone. Plugging in the handset caused a light on an illuminated map to come on via relays. The watch commander could then read the message, " ... No incidents ...". Captain Bloch then sat in front of the device. When the next light came on, he picked up the phone and wondered why there was no message. It was explained to him that it was agreed to report only in case of incidents. In reality, the patrol was asleep, which could have been easily seen from the number of Kalashnikovs in the gun rack. The fact that the lights came on nevertheless was ensured by a hand pushed through the back wall from behind, which pressed a relay so that Captain Bloch did not have to worry. We found it more disgusting when he put the ashes of his cigarette on the dial of our telephone in the guardroom to see if anyone warned the lower post. Whistler simply blew them away. Made the warning call and put his own ashes on it. Bloch was pissed. He just dismounted the dial next time and took it with him. Our watch commander complained because it made the phone unusable and that backfired again.

A big risk for us was the big outside patrol. That was run in pairs and went around the property. An EK (discharge candidate) was supposed to brief me. He had no desire to do so and so I did not know where it really went. Of course, then it got me too. Staff Sergeant Brünn checked us and I was punished with three days of arrest. We had been sunbathing on a meadow and my comrade warned too late that the OvD was coming to check. These three days were to be served in the neighboring object, the so-called brickyard. I had still luck with my jail, because in the meantime went at the Petersdorfer lake an exercise with tent structure in the forest to end.

Now I was already guarding this bunker for a year and nobody knew exactly what was in there. That's why the bunker was a topic of conversation from time to time. When I was chatting with Private Bork, I let out the story that I had heard in the pub down in the city. I was quite taken aback when I was called to the commander. I then learned that the stinker Bork was an informer and that my good contact with a sergeant who worked down in the "system" had been observed suspiciously. But he really hadn't told me a single word. I got a punishment from the commander for my chatter. That was 3 official duties out of the row.
For the completion of my official duties I had to go to the Medpunkt to the sergeant Rutkowsky. I should attach him three medicine cabinets and we were immediately relatively sympathetic. If I was "fed up" with the guard, I played soccer and then moved into Medpunkt for a few days. Once, when Rutkowsky was on a "toughening-up" trip in extreme cold and heavy snow, he put a syringe on the table and stood under the hot shower, then ran out naked and rolled around in the snow. If he was going to have a circulatory collapse, I should have given him the syringe. Rutkowsky was a "strange" guy anyway. Once when he was "harassed" en masse by soldiers with sniffles in the fall, he said that now he would only give injections. He grinned and told me that it was only distilled water and it would "burn" quite a bit. In no time, the clients stayed away. It happened then that we could go out at the same time. He offered that we should hitchhike together on the highway to Berlin. He ran in the direction of the gas station. I continued to walk straight ahead and waved now and then on the highway. A truck stopped and Rutkowsky was already sitting in it laughing.
On the return trip, I used the suburban train and then put on the uniform again in the restroom just before Fürstenwalde. Somehow the sergeant major Wallert sometimes had "a nose" and waited at the station to "pull up black sheep" us. Still in the last second I discovered him once and got out on the side facing away from the platform and ran up to the barrier to be in time in the Fuchsbau.
The most curious punishment I caught for "days-in-the-snow peeing" right in front of the guardhouse. I had not considered that no more snow had fallen during the night and the commander saw "red or yellow". Since nobody reported, my platoon should be cancelled the exit and our gay comrade Frint would have betrayed me anyway, I reported. I would be interested today times, how that was probably formulated in my file.

Twice a year there was a big alarm in the bunker. Then General Scheibe and Lieutenant Colonel Reinhold came from Strausberg with their staff. They stayed down in the bunker for up to two weeks. In the head building right at the bunker entrance their coats and caps were deposited. The special task of the guard now consisted of wardrobe duty. So once checkroom duty, "bumming" for days while the comrades had to do their exercises in the "decentralization room". No one knew when the bosses would come back up. I just stood in front of Scheibe's coat and looked at the thick golden caterpillars of the shoulder pieces. All of a sudden, footsteps were heard in the hallway. They were coming up! The officers had immediately disappeared behind the barrier to grab their coats. Since Scheibe's coat was hanging extra, but I was still in front of it and didn't feel like taking a pike back over the closed flap, I took his coat off the hanger and helped him in. Our commanding officer had taken good note of this. I took the day of special leave immediately.

Fürstenwalde on the "Knatter" has an interesting Spree bridge with a steel round arch on each side. From our predecessors we heard that only "the sharpest of the foxhole" dared to go over there. With 10-12 beers, Pfeifer and I also went over. If I drive today with the car there long, I must still think of it, what we nevertheless for careless fellows were.
After all, I became a private with 11 open punishments.
When I was discharged in 1968, preparations began for the erection of an electric fence and the guard company was severely decimated.
I would have liked to have seen the bunker from the inside, but after the reunification I unfortunately missed the right time...
Helmut Linde