|Active||1973 (Provisional basis)/1974 (Full establishment) - 1990|
|Branch||Ministry for State Security|
|Part of||Under the Ministry for State Security|
|Garrison/HQ||East Berlin, Germany|
The Diensteinheit IX (English: Service Unit 9) was a special and covert counter-terrorism unit of the German Democratic Republic Volkspolizei. It was also known as the 9. Volkspolizei-Kompanie (English: 9th People's Police Company).
The Munich massacre in 1972 and the increasing crime in East German cities led to initial attempts to create specialized police units in East Germany. With the establishment of the GSG 9 and Spezialeinsatzkommandos (SEK) in the early 1970s in West Germany, the Government of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) initiated the creation of a similar unit. Since no comparable force existed in East Germany at that time, it had to be created from scratch, i.e. from intelligence reports about Western and Soviet special forces units. The unit had been created in 1973 with provisional units before it was fully established in 1974 by Ernst Fabian with 30 men initially under the unit, being involved in the security of the Leipzig Fair. The unit was also armed with West German-made small arms and equipment.
Upon German reunion in 1990, some members of the Diensteinheit IX were merged into the Spezialeinsatzkommandos of West Germany after thorough political evaluation procedures, such as with SEK units in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and in Sachsen-Anhalt.
The unit was tasked with counter-terrorism operations including:
- Hostage rescue
- VIP protection
- Law enforcement in high-risk situations
- Physical security for large events, i.e. the World Festival of Youth and Students
- Manhunt of deserted Soviet Soldiers
The unit answered directly to the Head of the Ministry for State Security. In every district capital, a sub-unit was stationed in secrecy since the Socialist Unity Party of Germany [SED] would not admit to the public that crime exists in East Germany.
Members of the Diensteinheit IX were recruited from the East German Volkspolizei. Prospective members had to be between 25 and 39 years old. Furthermore, they had to fulfill stringent physical and psychological requirements. Also, they had to be graduates from an officer's school.
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