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German History in Documents and Images
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Patrolling the Inner-German Border (1971)
The GDR border troops were part of the National People’s Army (Nationale Volksarmee, NVA) and were about 40,000 strong. Most of these soldiers were stationed along the inner-German border. Maintaining such a heavily guarded border for the “protection of Socialism” over the course of decades proved a tremendous economic burden on the GDR. This photograph shows GDR troops patrolling the border in June 1971. Photo by Jochen Moll.