"13. Aug. 1961, Elsenstr."
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Picture 16: The same street corner as in picture 15 (Elsenstraße). The picture shows members of the East German worker’s militia erecting a fence in preparation for the wall-building. These paramilitary troops had been founded in 1953 and were organized at the work-place. Their existence was justified in East German ideology as a continuation of working-class traditions from the 1920s. Thus, they had the symbol of the worker’s militia of the Weimar Republic on their uniforms. Officially, membership was optional. In fact, people were put under pressure by the threat of disadvantages in their career if they didn’t join and by incentives, such as pension bonuses, for those who did.