by Shawn Bohannon

The formation of the Grenzpolizei began in August 1946 in the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany. The Grenzpolizei and Bereitschaftspolizei were initially controlled by the five East German state police chiefs until 15 November 1948 when they were subordinated directly to the Hauptabteilung Grenzpolizei/Bereitschaften in the Deutsche Verwaltung des Innern (DVdI). The Grenzpolizei was removed from the organization effective 20 July 1949 and placed under its own Hauptabteilung Grenzpolizei in the DVdI. Shortly thereafter, the Hauptabteilung Grenzpolizei was further subordinated to the Hauptverwaltung Deutsche Volkspolizei of the Ministerium des Innern (MdI). Known as the Deutsche Grenzpolizei since 1952, the organization was reformed as an independent Hauptverwaltung Deutsche Grenzpolizei of the MdI in 1953. From 1948-1961, control of the Deutsche Grenzpolizei alternated between the DVdI/MdI and the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS).

Subordination of the Deutsche Grenzpolizei (1948-1961)

13 Jul 1948-11 Oct 1949: Controlled by the DVdI
12 Oct 1949-1952: Controlled by the MdI
1952-16 Jun 1953: Controlled by the MfS
17 June 1953-1955: Controlled by the MdI
1955-28 Feb 1957: Controlled by the MfS
1 Mar 1957-14 Sep 1961: Controlled by the MdI

Leiter der Hauptabteilung Grenzpolizei / Chef der Deutschen Grenzpolizei

Chefinspekteur Hermann Rentzsch (13 July 1948 - 19 July 1949)
Chefinspekteur Max Zaspel (20 July 1949 - 15 Sep 1949)
Chefinspekteur Josef Schütz (16 Sep 1949 - 31 Dec 1949)
Chefinspekteur Herrmann Schuldt (1 Jan 1950 - 30 Sep 1950)
Inspekteur Erich Kurschinski (1 Oct 1950 - 30 Sep 1951)
Chefinspekteur Richard Smolorz (1 Nov 1951 - 31 July 1952)
Generalinspekteur Hermann Gartmann (1 Sep 1952 - 30 Apr 1955)
Oberst Heinrich Stock (1 May 1955 - 28 Feb 1957)
Generalmajor Hermann Gartmann (1 Mar 1957 - 15 May 1957)
Generalmajor Paul Ludwig (16 May 1957 - 14 Sep 1960)
Oberst Erich Peter (15 Sep 1960 - 14 Sep 1961)

The position of Leiter der Hauptabteilung Grenzpolizei was changed to Chef der Deutschen Grenzpolizei 1952 and into Chef der Grenztruppen in 1961.

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