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Nationaler Verteidigungsrat der DDR - NVR (National Defense Council of DDR) was created in 1960 as the supreme state body of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik in charge of national defense matters, including mobilization planning. The NVR hold the supreme command of the Nationale Volksarmee (including the internal security forces), and the NVR's chairman is considered the DDR's commander-in-chief.

Composition of the NVR

The NVR consist of a chairman and at least 12 members, all of whom are members of the Zentralkomitee of the SED; most are also members of the Politbüro. Some of the members of the NVR also hold leadership roles in the "armed organs" of the state: the Nationale Volksarmee, the Volkspolizei, and the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. Subordinate to the NVR are the regional and district operational directorates, whose chairmen are also the first secretaries of the regional and district party organizations of the SED.

Leadership of the NVR

The NVR strengthened Walter Ulbricht's claim as the leading political force in the SED, as he became the NVR's first chairman, even though Wilhelm Pieck was still president of the DDR at the time. Upon Erich Honecker's rise to power in 1971, he replaced Ulbricht as chairman of the NVR. Since then, the Generalsekretär of the SED always have held the leadership of the NVR.

Security Arrangements for Members of the NVR

An underground bunker was built in Prenden, near Wandlitz, for the members of the NVR; this is the largest bunker complex in DDR.

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