|Quoting Falstaff (Reply 2):|
Quoting CPH-R (Reply 1):
As far as I know, something like 90% of the Nationale Volksarmee officers/NCO's were laid off, with the remainders staying on after being demoted.
What about the enlisted men? That sucks losing your job because your country changed.
First, the combined Bundeswehr /NVA made Germany with by far the largest military in Europe (almost half a million soldiers). Most of our neighbours were, understandably concerning our history, slightly worried about it. Part of the 4 plus 2 agreements was that reunited Germany would have to reduce it's armed forces to below 130000 men.
Since most enlisted men in both the NVA and the Bundeswehr were conscripts, part of the reduction was made by shortening the military service and not calling up certain generations. E.g. I wasn't even medically checked, since those West Berliners, born before 1970 (we were excempt from military service in West Berlin due to Allied law banning all German military in West Berlin up to 1990) were not called up anymore. In any case, art this time I was already married, with a child, so they would have had to pay me full soldier's pay (enough to feed a family) instead of the pocket money they usually pay to a single conscript. On the other hand, West germans, who were already in the Bundeswehr and who deserted or went AWOL to West Berlin suddenly found themselves hunted down by the German military police (Feldjäger), no matter how old they were and forced to finish their military service.
Concerning the officers of the NVA you'll have to understand that one condition to become a career officer or NCO in the NVA usually meant that you had to be card carrying and more than a little active communist party member in the GDR and as such considered unreliable by the Bundeswehr.