Former GDR Diplomats sacked after reunification

The diplomats of East Germany have been the most dissatisfied with German reunification than any other group. After 1990, their dreams of working in the diplomatic service were dashed. For me, as a German, learning more about the aspects of reunification is always fascinating. Details that may not have been available at the time or have been withheld are now available. Former GDR Diplomats’ reunification

Former GDR Diplomats reunification
Diplomatic passport of Stefan Doernberg (Authors collection)

Stefan Doernberg (* 21. Juni 1924 in Berlin; † 3. Mai 2010 Berlin) is a most interesting figure. He was born as the son of a KPD official in Germany. In 1935 they immigrated to the Soviet Union. He made his Abitur in Moscow. On the day of Operation Barbarossa, he joined the Red Army. He was temporarily interned in a work camp in the Urals because of his German origins, but he returned from his stay there to the front after schooling in the Comintern. As a Lieutenant in the 8th Guards Army, he participated in UkrainePoland, and Berlin battles. From 1983 to 1987, Stefan Doernberg was the GDR’s ambassador to Finland. He was a member of the Peace Council of the GDR and a member of the SED. In 1964 he received the Fatherland Order of Merit in bronze, in 1966 in silver, and in 1984 in gold. 

On May 3, 2010, Stefan Doernberg died in Berlin immediately before a planned trip to Moscow, where he was to participate in the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany at the Russian government’s invitation. Former GDR Diplomats’ reunification

A few groups of professionals from the Eastern half of Germany made it even worse during and after reunification than the defunct Communist state’s former diplomats. Even members of the feared Stasi secret police and officers from the National People’s Army found work in reunited Germany and put their skills to good use. However, this was not the case for the GDR’s diplomatic service, which employed over 2,000 people.

“Despite the aspirations of many of us to continue working in the field of international relations in a reunited Germany, we quickly discovered that there was no such chance,” says Bernhard Neugebauer, a former East German ambassador to the United Nations. “We were also forbidden from serving in any other government agency.” Former GDR Diplomats’ reunification

Deutsche Welle reported about the fate of the East German diplomats in 2010. Read the interesting article in full here.

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