A central school for KdA leaders was set up in Schmerwitz in 1957. Der KÃ¤mpfer was the monthly newspaper and voice of the KdA; it was printed by the SED s Neues Deutschland publishing house.
The largest use of the KdA was during the construction of the Berlin Wall in the summer and fall of 1961. The best trained and most politically reliable KdA units and members from Saxony, Thuringia and East Berlin participated in the construction and guarding of the Wall. Over 8,000 KdA, about 20% of all military units, were involved in this effort. During the six week deployment of the KdA to the East-West Berlin sector boundary, only eight members escaped to the West, indicating a high state of morale and political reliability.
The KdA were not used during the peaceful mass protests in late 1989 at the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig as many KdA members identified with the protesters and some participated in the marches. The decline of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) and rapid political changes in East Germany after the Wall was opened made the KdA no longer relevant or necessary. The decision to disband the KdA was made by the East German parliament (Volkskammer) in December 1989. Disarmament of the KdA began that month and was supervised by the police who consolidated and stored weapons and equipment along with the National People s Army (NVA). The final 189,370 fighters (in 2,022 units) were completely demobilized in May 1990.Unpacked weight is 0.38kg.
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