The debate on the stocking up of arms motivates the GDR defence minister, in his order 101/83, to speak of a "dangerous escalation of the international situation" that makes it necessary to raise the combat readiness of the border troops.more
GDR automatic firing device (SM-70) with mounting (Source: Berliner Mauer-Archiv Hagen Koch)
SED General Secretary Erich Honecker publicly announces the dismantling of the some 60,000 automatic firing devices (SM-70) on the inner German border. They are removed by 31 December 1984; the landmines are also taken away by 1 July 1985.
The reason behind this move is that the UN "Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects" of 10 October 1980 enters into force for the GDR on 2 December 1983. In Protocol II of this convention, the use of "mines, booby-traps and other devices" "either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians" is prohibited in all circumstances.less
An exchange of letters between party and state leader Erich Honecker and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl makes clear their difference in attitudes to the stationing of missiles in West Germany and the faltering INF negotiations in Geneva on the removal of nuclear medium-range missiles from Europe.more
West German rock musician Udo Lindenberg and his "Panikorchester" (famous for the hit "Sonderzug nach Pankow" ["Special Train to Pankow"]) perform in the East Berlin Palace of the Republic at the invitation of the FDJ (Free German Youth).