Rudi Arnstadt

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Rudi Arnstadt (September 3, 1926 – August 14, 1962) was an East German border guard who was shot and killed while serving as a captain of the border troops of the former East Germany. He was shot by Hans Plüschke, a 23-year-old West German border guard. According to West German officials, Plüschke was returning fire after his patrol was shot at. The incident took place at Wiesenfeld on the East-West border in the East German province of Thuringia.

His death occurred along with the deaths of another four East German border troops in quite a short time. Such incidents led to a very strained relationship between the two opposing sets of German border troops. This has been proposed as a contributory factor for the failure of East Berlin border guards to assist the mortally wounded Peter Fechter. Fechter was shot while attempting to defect to West Berlin on August 17, 1962 and died after lying in no-man's land for an hour, in full view of both sides.

In 1998, Plüschke was fatally shot in his right eye, the same fatal wound Arnstadt had suffered. His body was found by a motorist on the Bundesstraße B 84, 70 meters from his vehicle.[1]



  1. Deutscher Bundestag, 14. Wahlperiode, Drucksache, 14/7234, 26. 10. 2001, Schriftliche Fragen mit den in der Woche vom 22. Oktober 2001, eingegangenen Antworten der Bundesregierung, Antwort des Parlamentarischen Staatssekretärs Fritz Rudolf Körper, vom 19. Oktober 2001 (Written questions of the 14th Voting Period of the German Federal Bundestag [house of government], answer of the Parliamentary State Secretary Fritz Rudolf Körper on October 19, 2001). On August 14, 1962, Oberjäger T.P. of the BGS shot and killed DDR Army Hauptmann R.A. when he observed R.A. preparing to fire again at a BGS officer. The border incident occurred at Setzelbach, Hesse. This document can be found on the web at [1] . An article from the Frankfurter Rundschau on August 9, 2002, further reports on this amazing story, identifying the BGS trooper as Hans Plüschke and the DDR border officer as Rudi Arnstadt. Plüschke's 1962 shot struck Arnstadt in the right eye, killing him instantly. On March 15, 1998, Hans Plüschke, who had become a taxi driver, was found murdered on Highway 84 between Rasdorf and Hünfeld, shot in the right eye. German authorities considered the possibility that this was a 36-year-delayed act of revenge by former DDR agents. The article can be viewed on the web at:,com_simpleboard/Itemid,/func,view/id,1029014251/catid,4/


  • Frotscher, K., Liebig, H.: Opfer deutscher Teilung – Beim Grenzschutz getötet ISBN 3-89819-198-2