Bor­der Expe­ri­ence

Note: This is tem­po­r­a­ri­ly only an auto­ma­tic trans­la­ti­on.

About bor­der expe­ri­en­ces and my bor­der histo­ry

Colum­ne “Port Woling” 2013-04
Check Point - Aut­hor: Wol­le Ing

The peo­p­le of Cen­tral Ger­ma­ny in par­ti­cu­lar are cha­rac­te­ri­zed by the time of Ger­man divi­si­on. This time is par­ti­cu­lar­ly part of peo­p­le living on the for­mer bor­der. Hard­ly a house in bor­der regi­ons of the for­mer GDR, in which at least one mem­ber had some­thing to do with the bor­der tro­ops - and if they were only pro­fes­sio­nal or busi­ness con­nec­tions. You had to mana­ge and live.

The worst chap­ter of this peri­od was cer­tain­ly the vio­lent expul­si­on of who­le fami­lies from the bor­der area. The­se → forced resett­le­ments from the rest­ric­ted area, espe­ci­al­ly in large-scale poli­ce ope­ra­ti­ons in 1952 and 1961, fell along the demar­ca­ti­on line of about 12,000 inha­bi­tants. The­re was also com­pa­ra­ble expe­ri­ence in my fami­ly - the flight and vio­lent expul­si­on of more than 3.6 mil­li­on Sile­si­ans from the Sile­si­an regi­ons east of the Neis­se in the wake of the Second World War.

The fol­lo­wing is a con­tri­bu­ti­on to the not easy topic of “bor­ders, sol­diers, sol­diers, values and histo­ry”. The artic­le reflects, in par­ti­cu­lar, per­so­nal expe­ri­en­ces. The sub­ject just moves me all my life.

A fron­tier and sol­dier about the histo­ry

A human - born a few weeks befo­re the Wall was built in 1961 - was a working child. Someone cal­led me lum­pen pro­le­ta­ri­ans - no pro­blem and rather an honor. I recent­ly buried my father. The “Litt­le Trumpeter’s Song” accom­pa­nied him. We are the next gene­ra­ti­on that will go. Am I going to meet my father again? Until then, I still have a lot to pro­cess and shape. I just want the time for it. Do I have you? No - I’ll take it.

As a for­mer pro­fes­sio­nal sol­dier of the fron­tier groups of the GDR from 1980 to 1990, as a com­man­der, who saw his respon­si­bi­li­ty as a job not only as a job, but also as an offi­cer and per­se­cu­ted per­son in his own army, Immense war strikes as pro­tec­ti­ve, but also as a very thoughtful per­son I attach a spe­cial importance to the sto­ry - sin­ce I can think. She works in me every day. And I draw from her and look for­ward.

My con­cern with the fol­lo­wing ide­as is not a glo­ri­fi­ca­ti­on of histo­ry and the sup­port of the unte­acha­ble. As a for­mer sol­dier and mili­ta­ry, I would like to recall values - posi­ti­ve and nega­ti­ve, which may be important in our histo­ry, pre­sent and future.

To under­stand the past - even your own - means to grow per­so­nal­ly and to be able to con­scious­ly shape the mor­ning in the huma­ni­stic sen­se. Ever­y­thing else is only vague and idea­li­stic in the attempt to get out of the ani­mal king­dom by mutu­al obscu­ri­ty of human and social grie­van­ces.

Our actions are decisi­ve. The past of each one is a valuable life expe­ri­ence. What is more important, howe­ver, is how one now stands - and more important­ly, what one intends to do in the future. Search in the past. The result of expe­ri­ence and know­ledge are views. What is cru­cial, howe­ver, is to chan­ge the world today with small steps.

Bro­ken - some once valuable com­pa­n­ion and man went by us during and after the­se mili­ta­ry years. It was the soul that soon bro­ke it, when I saw this fate again and again. I soon bro­ke the same way. The fami­ly was my sal­va­ti­on and the com­ra­des. Not a few fri­ends have gone this way. Why? Becau­se we sud­den­ly found our­sel­ves in a com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent world? In a civi­li­an world in which sud­den­ly some important values were no lon­ger important to us?

After the army time, many of us also expe­ri­en­ced lar­ger, new, almost uni­ma­gi­nable strengths. Whe­re others would go, we came here. We build on it. Our many years in the Army have enab­led us to chan­ge and actively shape. Curio­si­ty has always pre­ce­ded us. It was and is our gui­de in the jungle of igno­rance.

Soldier’s past of us Long-running - why am I tal­king about this? I was and am one of you. In wha­te­ver degree of ser­vice does this mat­ter? At any rate, I am now a. D. (out of ser­vice), and have digni­fied­ly and hono­rab­le­ly held my rank as cap­tain. But we also know sol­diers do not die - they go the­re. The many years have irre­vo­ca­bly shaped us. Not­hing and no one in the world can dele­te, in the way you just dele­te a data store.

No one can speak for other mem­bers of the armed forces, not for bor­der guards, not for sol­diers of the Natio­nal Army or the Bun­des­wehr, not for mem­bers of other armed eli­te units, and not for mem­bers of other armies. We know, howe­ver, that the deep spe­ci­fi­ci­ty of their duties with the wea­pon in their hands lea­ves sol­diers always boun­da­ries. They expe­ri­ence that not only is the com­mand the mea­su­re of things, but man is also super­na­tu­ral­ly deman­ded in par­ti­cu­lar.

The cur­se of all sol­diers - they must act - fas­ter than the thought or only the pure instinct allows. And that is pre­cis­e­ly what requi­res spe­cial mecha­nisms of coope­ra­ti­on, spe­cial prin­ci­ples of sol­dier­ship and of the tro­ops.

The soldier’s fate - one can not grasp it indi­vi­du­al­ly. The other life has not been lived. So we talk less about others. Let us think more about our­sel­ves, ulti­m­ate­ly by our being, to give the other good here - if only it is our expe­ri­ence, the expe­ri­ence and the expe­ri­ence. In this secu­lar sen­se we live wit­hout expec­ta­ti­ons for others.

Memo­ry. When­ever our com­ra­des are com­me­mo­ra­ting, we also think of the mur­de­rers mur­de­red in this land, mur­de­red, mur­de­red sol­diers, ass­as­si­na­ted freethin­kers, ass­as­sins of other natio­na­li­ties. And we still see so much blind­ness in our socie­ty befo­re occult per­sons, groups and media who sow again the poi­son of dic­ta­tor­ship, dead­ly extre­mism, ter­ror and mur­ders. And we see a for­mer Fede­ral Pre­si­dent who step­ped up any form of sin­ce­ri­ty with boots, and still won all the mili­ta­ry honors.

Then we find ans­wers in expe­ri­en­ced and values that we have lived as sol­diers: What does peo­p­le share? Indif­fe­rence. What unites peo­p­le? Cama­ra­de­rie. What sepa­ra­tes peo­p­le? Dif­fe­rent sca­les. What cau­ses peo­p­le? Dog­mas and igno­rance. What unites us? The lon­ging. What keeps us tog­e­ther? The sha­ring. What makes us live? The diver­si­ty. What makes us invin­ci­b­le? Our wil­ling­ness to learn and fle­xi­bi­li­ty.

The sum­ma­ry of my mili­ta­ry care­er: be a belie­ver wit­hout belon­ging to a reli­gi­on. Belie­ve in the truth, at the risk of your down­fall. Be an able sol­dier, but detest an army. Fear and act fearless­ly. Be rea­li­stic and try the impos­si­ble! Be bra­ve enough to keep going for­ward wit­hout resis­ting resis­tance. Sol­diers do not strugg­le for ide­as - they have them, assess the situa­ti­on and make decis­i­ons. The soldier’s life has brought her to life every day in the most dif­fi­cult situa­tions.

What does sol­dier mat­ter? Does it mat­ter in which army you ser­ved? Does it mat­ter whe­re rank or rank of ser­vice was ser­ved? Is the­re any con­tempt? Do we have to take our heads? Can we redis­co­ver and chan­ge the world in a new civi­li­zed qua­li­ty?

Many ques­ti­ons - some of which are behind me. Was every offi­cer in my for­mer army an offi­cer with a real sen­se of honor? No! Why is the­re a com­mand to use the shot­gun? For deter­rence and shoo­ting - as in every army! Can a flag be play­ed twice? No! Can you fight for a bet­ter socie­ty within an army? Yes! What does it mean for com­ra­des to spy on their own com­ra­des on behalf of secret ser­vices and defa­ma­te them? Cri­mi­nal Cal­ling! What does flag cur­ses mean? Cowar­di­ce, the fight on the spot and the for­fei­ted right to wear should­er pie­ces. Do I have too litt­le tole­rance here? Cer­tain­ly not when I am rea­dy to talk about the past face to face and not to wage war.

Let us not for­get the other sol­diers, the con­sci­en­tious objec­tors, the late sol­diers or the sol­diers who were forced to do their duty. I would not like to judge fur­ther on the exer­cise of this non-military ser­vice. Ever­yo­ne who is con­cer­ned has to do this for hims­elf. It is true that many a con­sis­tent repre­sen­ta­ti­ve deser­ves the hig­hest reco­gni­ti­on due to his direct straight­for­ward­ness and sin­ce­ri­ty, which is not cha­rac­te­ristic of many peo­p­le.

Seve­re decis­i­ons in the army era - I remem­ber. What if the peo­p­le march? What if your mili­ta­ry unit is to march against this peo­p­le? Ever­yo­ne was faced with this ques­ti­on. Not ever­yo­ne shared this. I found hard ans­wers for mys­elf all alo­ne.

Calum­ny - I also remem­ber, that in their own army they had been spied me for years by alle­ged fellow-comrades, and had been defa­med in the most seve­re form. You had to turn off somehow. Let’s not for­get - unloa­ded unof­fi­ci­al among us sol­diers had this filt­hy job - may­be every tenth. My poli­ti­cal atti­tu­de to peace and real pro­gress did not fit into the pre­scrip­ti­on of the military-political com­man­ders. My atti­tu­de has always been: “Nobo­dy can pre­scri­be any­thing - only one has to make a decis­i­on in life and make a decis­i­on about it.”

I had lear­ned this atti­tu­de from my Sile­si­an father ear­ly on. One had to pur­sue me as an offi­cer, if I was not alre­a­dy con­ver­ti­ble. My pri­ce for free­dom of thought was high. I deci­ded that it would cost that. And - at that time it was real­ly down to the lowest human level, my life and my own fami­ly mem­bers.

Per­se­cu­ted in his own army, which was ser­ved uncon­di­tio­nal­ly - schi­zo­phre­nia. The for­mer unof­fi­ci­al and hand­land­ers live part­ly still today among us, in my place of resi­dence, in my pro­xi­mi­ty, part­ly also in a respon­si­ble posi­ti­on, and can scar­ce­ly return my gaze. They are not worth tal­king about. That would not be my way. Only, some have not left his wrong work from then until today. They for­get their work is immor­ta­li­zed in his­to­ri­cal docu­ments.

Today, the mili­ta­ry expe­ri­ence is par­ti­cu­lar­ly shaped by my mili­ta­ry view. No army of the world, no poli­ti­cal­ly Pri­ma­te civil minis­ter, no gene­ral in the world, no sol­dier in the world, no wea­pon in the world, not­hing can free man­kind from the whips and col­la­te­ral con­se­quen­ces of wars. The­re will NEVER be mili­ta­ry win­ners. In this sen­se, wars are most use­l­ess. Poli­ti­cal vic­to­ries from wars? Unmo­ral desi­re, as it can not be grea­ter. In the pre­sent and in the future wars put even human exis­tence at play. This lies in the natu­re of the irre­vo­ca­ble des­truc­ti­ve power of wea­pon sys­tems.

If the supe­ri­ors cur­se the war, the orders to con­vo­ke them have alre­a­dy been issued” (1935, Ber­tolt Brecht).

War­ri­ors - who are they? We know this from the expe­ri­ence of mili­ta­ry histo­ry and our own. Let’s never let it go. This know­ledge I had at the latest 1989/1990 at the most bit­ter expe­ri­en­ces in the so-called Vor- und Wen­de­zeit. At that time, I decli­ned, on my own request, a fur­ther care­er offe­red to me. It had some­thing to do with the flag, but also with my inner con­flicts and expe­ri­en­ces.

Yes - I was a bor­de­rer in an army at a glo­bal and explo­si­ve seam and at 23 years alre­a­dy an offi­cer. The­re is still a lot of peo­p­le in his tea­ching today. The pre­vious officer’s trai­ning had taught me a lot of mili­ta­ry histo­ry and mili­ta­ry craft­sman­ship, inclu­ding Clau­se­witz to Scharn­horst, stra­te­gies and doc­tri­ne, tac­tics of the units, attack­ing and defen­ding, enligh­ten­ment and dis­ar­med ope­ra­ti­ons, ene­my struc­tures and equip­ment, wea­pons of all cali­bers, pro­tec­tion against ABC wea­pons, armored com­bat , Com­bat tech­ni­ques, spe­cial jumps, lea­der­ship from the group to the regi­ment, topo­gra­phy and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons, mate­ri­al assu­rance, psy­cho­lo­gy, eco­no­my and socie­ty. You never for­get.

Along the boun­da­ries of the big guns­lin­ger, the path has also led me the­re, but also to places of uni­ma­gi­nable hor­ror. I think, abo­ve all, the hor­ror must be media­ted. This is the only chan­ce that our histo­ry will not be repea­ted in the midd­le of Euro­pe.

Death and kil­ling - we lear­ned - and not just defen­ding. I’ve been thin­king too much, too soon. This reflec­tion gnaws pro­per­ly on the sub­s­tance. More than ever, I ask today:

What right do peo­p­le have to kill peo­p­le?”

Even the Koran and the Bible teach, “You shall not kill.” Do we need the reli­gi­ons to nega­te this cla­im in prac­ti­ce at all times? But the pure dif­fe­rence bet­ween action from instinct and intel­li­gence should give us an ans­wer and stand out from the ani­mal king­dom. I won­der why the crime of adver­ti­sing for child­ren is still being waged for wars all over the world, even here - why → 17-year-old child­ren war­ri­ors are objects of desi­re.

Health con­se­quen­ces of the mili­ta­ry time for me - who cares today? The fact that the body and the mind suf­fe­r­ed enorm­ously from it, and health con­se­quen­ces ensued, nobo­dy wants to know today - cer­tain­ly no legal suc­ces­sor like the Bun­des­wehr.

It was my way - com­man­der and fron­tier, after I ori­gi­nal­ly wan­ted to stu­dy phi­lo­so­phy. I was alre­a­dy in my pocket for admis­si­on to the Tasch­kent stu­dies in 1980. Not ever­y­thing in life is deli­bera­te­ly deci­ded. Many things are sim­ply direc­ted and chan­ged by very spe­ci­fic cir­cum­s­tances. We some­ti­mes over­look the fact that the wind does not deter­mi­ne the direc­tion. We can put the sails our­sel­ves.

Nevert­hel­ess, my per­so­nal mili­ta­ry histo­ry was clo­se­ly fol­lo­wed by well-known phi­lo­so­phers and his­to­ri­ans, such as Epi­cu­rus, Scho­pen­hau­er, Marx, or Nietz­sche. The role, the who­le con­tents, and the sacred wri­tin­gs of dif­fe­rent reli­gi­ons, I then ope­ned up as a pro­ven athe­ist - just out of respect for the other belie­vers and in my search for ans­wers and uni­ver­sal human ide­as.

Wars and reli­gi­ons - a spe­cial the­me. Even sol­diers often have digni­ta­ries in their ranks. Today, I ask the reli­gi­ons to dis­cuss the fol­lo­wing: Whe­re is the head of the fami­ly, the father, who orders a bill­board to his squabb­ling disci­ples of every reli­gi­on and asks them: Wit­hout the other, each one of you is not­hing! Pro­cla­im the com­mon com­mandment: ‘Thou shalt seek to under­stand others. First learn Human­ly, then other lan­guages and then sha­ring.”

A bor­de­rer - the word hides more. It was my cla­im - at the time, as today. A sin­gle expe­ri­ence is like a puz­zle pie­ce. The parts give a pic­tu­re. Not­hing was in vain. All of this gives your tree of life, an irre­placeable poten­ti­al for you. Strength ari­ses from cohe­si­on and cohe­si­on. Step by step, it goes for­ward. The key - the next step. This is fol­lo­wed by ano­ther step. Not the end is the cla­im. Taking the road in digni­ty is the goal of the sol­dier.

And not­hing and no one in the world can judge me if he has not worn my boots. The unte­acha­ble man can also take this away from me. And not­hing and no one can take us from for­mer mili­ta­ry to the important expe­ri­en­ces, the know­ledge and the deep huma­ni­ty of real com­ra­des - things that have accom­pa­nied us on the way to the pre­sent exis­tence.

The other side of mem­bers of dif­fe­rent armies I have also met today - in many encoun­ters - among other things by the Ger­man armed forces, who, as a troop lea­der in coope­ra­ti­on with Rus­si­an sol­diers in the midd­le of Euro­pe in the for­mer Yugo­sla­via flew the gre­na­de splin­ters around the ears of the sol­dier, in many batt­les The Ame­ri­can sol­dier, who had been fight­ing in Kuwait, lost from the sol­diers, who had some stran­ge poli­ti­cal and eco­no­mic inte­rests some­whe­re in the world, from many for­mer com­man­ders of the Natio­nal People’s Army, Hop­eful pro­mi­ses made by many sol­diers left alo­ne with the most seve­re men­tal trau­ma.

A speech says: “Tal­king is sil­ver, silence is gold.” I think: “Gold awa­kens only ani­mal instincts. Spea­king, howe­ver, is the begin­ning and the end of the human, inner-filled life.” In this sen­se, time limits in the soldier’s life have their right to exist becau­se they con­tain a lot of his­to­ri­cal con­ver­sa­ti­on and future poten­ti­al.

Ima­gi­ne that we all face the same dilem­ma. Ima­gi­ne, howe­ver, that we are also enri­ched by the same values. Ima­gi­ne that not the army, but the flag of the­se values is always held up. Ima­gi­ne that this com­ra­de­ship and huma­ni­ty over­co­me all boun­da­ries. Real­ly belie­ve and know - this can be a for­mer, true, hono­rable sol­dier.

My dream - I am allo­wed to deri­ve from histo­ry into the future:

I see vir­tu­es of the sol­dier in a huma­ni­stic quan­tum reli­gio for all peo­p­le, who can clut­ter ever­y­thing tog­e­ther per­ma­nent­ly and conflict-free - in a new human evo­lu­tio­na­ry stage of the mind. Com­bi­ned with fun­da­men­tal­ly new eco­no­mic approa­ches and solu­ti­ons in a future access socie­ty that would be available to all peo­p­le, a way of peaceful coexis­tence of all reli­gi­ons and beliefs would be an eco­no­mic, poli­ti­cal, reli­gious, ideo­lo­gi­cal and ethical-moral solu­ti­on.

Sha­ring in net­works of dif­fe­rent forms would be the focus, not owner­ship. Pro­per­ty slows down in mobi­li­ty. The world is glo­bal and inter­stel­lar. Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on is no lon­ger a ques­ti­on of neces­sa­ry local loca­ti­ons or pos­ses­si­on, like churches, but a ques­ti­on of access, cul­tu­re and tech­no­lo­gy inde­pen­dent of time and space.

Tog­e­ther, we build net­works of ser­vices, resour­ces and expe­ri­en­ces. Tog­e­ther the­se net­works are used. We are not tal­king about uto­pia, but approa­ches which are begin­ning to deve­lop in prac­ti­ce today - see, for exam­p­le, the Inter­net and new intel­li­gent, decen­tra­li­zed ener­gy net­works cal­led the Smart Grid.

For the first time, this path could lead to a world-wide, las­ting de-escalation. If this path is denied, I see only the chan­ce of the des­truc­tion of human civi­liza­ti­on due to the fatal des­truc­tion of new tech­no­lo­gies in the wrong hands.


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