When West Germany annexed East Germany, what happened with the Government structure in the East? For example, were the police, judiciary system and executive branch in the East simply renamed, created from scratch, or merged and their members verified? If verified, how was the verification done?


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Technically, West Germany (the FRG) did not annex East Germany (the GDR). Instead, the GDR declared their accession to the FRG. A treaty regulated the details.

  • The GDR had a post-communist government for about a year. They did disassemble much of the political security apparatus and also acted to prevent the destruction of some documents.
  • The vetting of personnel was done through the Stasi Records Agency.
  • The more senior police, military, judiciary, and administrators were pensioned. Their pensions were much less than comparable West German officials would get, but they got some money in D-Mark (and later Euros). It is anybody's guess how the purchasing power compares with what the GDR would have paid in Ostmark.
  • Juniors could stay on, but their careers slowed down. Recently a former Volksarmee officer made General in the unified German army -- two decades after Reunification.
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    Not sure that officer had anything to complain about then. The notorious Beförderungsstau (promotion jam) in the Bundeswehr has been a problem for decades, exacerbated by the downsizing of German armed forces. An old acquaintance of mine (fighter pilot) made it to Lt Col in that time and with luck will make it to Col (ret).
    – Marakai
    Aug 1, 2017 at 19:33
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    @Marakai, there were plenty of GDR colonels. If it had been an equal merge, one of them would have stayed on and made general. Instead, more than 90% of the GDR officers had to go, including the seniormost ones. I doubt that they all wanted to go to the civilian sector.
    – o.m.
    Aug 2, 2017 at 4:56
  • There's some more info I could provide but is too close to family for my wanting to share it here. Doesn't belong in comments anyway. I wasn't disagreeing with you, mow just another data point that promotion in the German AF had been a disaster for decades-and as a result worse for"Easterners" more than its might have been in less clogged up armies.
    – Marakai
    Aug 2, 2017 at 6:27

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