LABOR SERVICE (and how it all began)
Labor Service is the history of the units (service units) of non American citizens recruited in Europe after the armistice in May 1945. The necessity for these units resulted from the immense problems the allied troops (USA, England and France) faced in Europe. On one hand thousands of war participants were to be discharged from the armies, on the other hand sufficient personnel to keep up security and maintenance of compounds deployed throughout the entirety of Europe was not available. The local police corps established by the Allies were not able to take over these additional duties. As a result guard units were founded, which later on in the American occupation area and in West-Berlin were turned into industrial police groups (IP)and eventually into Labor Service
Following the occupation by US Forces on July 01, 1945 of six West-Berlin boroughs diverse units employed own “Guards”, which in 1946 were brought together as a “Civilian Guard District” with four sectors. In 1948 the “Civilian Guard District” was renamed “Industrial Police District”.
At the time of the Berlin Blockade (June 26, 1948 thru May 12, 1949) on August 10, 1948 two “Labor Service Companies” were established at Eschborn and were deployed as labor Companies in the frame of the Berlin Air Lift. A marked difference to the already existing Labor Service units, which were comprised of non German (Displaced Persons) personnel, these two new companies were solely comprised of German citizens. Although rather strictly organized no military ranks were used, but bore more civilian titles like “Foreman, Supervisor, Superintendent, and so on.
The third “Labor Service Company” stemmed from the “V. IP-District” in Hoechst. It was founded February 15, 1949 and was deployed to Eschborn and integrated into the Air Lift operation. Later on more units were established.
After the end of the Berlin Blockade these units in October 1949 were discharged. Since, however, they had proved were reliable they were at other places re-established, in the form of technical units. Until August 1950 units were created in Giessen as Quartermaster supply units, medical units in Nuernberg, Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt/Main and Giessen; Engineer units in Mannheim and transportation units in Bremerhaven and Hammelburg. They were organized like US Army units and as of now military ranks were used.
While West German IP units, with the exemption of IP units under the command of the US Air Force as “Air Force IP”, were finally discharged on June 30, 1965, Berlin IP stayed in existence. It was, however, decided to establish LS units in Berlin. This marked the beginning of our unit September 5, 1950.
At the beginning of September 1993 the short but honourable history of our battalion ended with its deactivation.
More than 40 years of fidelity, loyal, dedicated and efficient performance of duty, ups and downs, joy and sadness have formed the history of the 6941st Guard Battalion.
“DE MORTUIS NIL NISI BENE”