Barracks in Germany - Sovereignty Status

#1
Trying to answer a question for someone on another board. What's the status of British barracks in Germany with resepect to sovereignty? I'm pretty sure that they amount to sovereign territory.

For instance, two of my kids were born out there (one in Minden and the over in Iserlohn) yet they were exempt german conscription. Taxes, etc were paid to the UK, and the German police had no automatic right of access to the camps.

Does anyone know of anything official that defines their status? I'm after something a bit more official than anecdotes.

Cheers
 
#2
#4
I suppose if you want something official, you would have to look start at the terms of and conditions of the German surrender.

Though I would suspect that since then, various agreements, treaties and memoranda of understanding/cooperation have covered this matter. As for the names of documents, I'm not too sure...
 
#5
Northern Biff is quite correct. GCP have statutory right of entry. In JHQ for example they even ran speed traps, but JHQ is an 'open' barracks and not quite the same as Catterick Barracks. Barracks are not Soveriegn Territory in the same respect as SBA Episkopi or Dhekelia. I will check SOFA for you.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#7
MikeMcc said:
Trying to answer a question for someone on another board. What's the status of British barracks in Germany with resepect to sovereignty? I'm pretty sure that they amount to sovereign territory.

For instance, two of my kids were born out there (one in Minden and the over in Iserlohn) yet they were exempt german conscription. Taxes, etc were paid to the UK, and the German police had no automatic right of access to the camps.

Does anyone know of anything official that defines their status? I'm after something a bit more official than anecdotes.

Cheers
NATO SOFA is the official start point:

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17265.htm
 
#8
Cheers for the answers. I was surprised about the GMP, we were always told to stop them and refer them to the OO.

Aye, tis someone on Urban.
 
#9
Ispeakcrabandpongo said:
Northern Biff is quite correct. GCP have statutory right of entry. In JHQ for example they even ran speed traps, but JHQ is an 'open' barracks and not quite the same as Catterick Barracks. Barracks are not Soveriegn Territory in the same respect as SBA Episkopi or Dhekelia. I will check SOFA for you.
The GCP undertake speed and breathalyser checks on the (public) main road that runs through the camp. I think that Northern Biff is right; they have right of access under the SOFA but choose not to exercise it.

For the most part, we lease the garrisons, training areas and quarters from the German Government (or the individual States and some private landlords). Sovereignty has nothing to do with it.

The occasional difficulties that arise with the birth of children in Germany are to do, IIRC, with the poorly drafted nationality laws of the early 1980s.

Litotes
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#10
Sprogs hatched in Germany to UK parents are not registered in the German system as the parents are also not registered with the Anmeldungsamt. Savvy toms married to Hermans of course had a registered wife and usually registered their kids too, which gave them options in later life.
 
#11
My daughter was born at the St Vincenz Krankenhaus, Paderborn in 2003, she was registered through JHQ and has a UK Birth Cert. The Hospital notify the German authorities of the birth, but she is not registered in Germany.

It is all to do with the Status of Forces Agreement as previously mentioned.

SBA in Cyprus are a different kettle of ball game altogether :)
 
#13
Alsacien said:
Sprogs hatched in Germany to UK parents are not registered in the German system as the parents are also not registered with the Anmeldungsamt. Savvy toms married to Hermans of course had a registered wife and usually registered their kids too, which gave them options in later life.
Absolutely correct.
 
#14
MikeMcc said:
For instance, two of my kids were born out there (one in Minden and the over in Iserlohn) yet they were exempt german conscription.
My 2nd Daughter was born in the MRS Belfast Barracks Osnabruck but her Birth Certificate says Frauen Krankenhaus , 3rd Daughter was born in the Belgian Military Hospital Soest neither of them have had any problems , both have British Birth Certificates .
As Nige says , not registered with German authorities.
 
#15
Litotes said:
Ispeakcrabandpongo said:
Northern Biff is quite correct. GCP have statutory right of entry. In JHQ for example they even ran speed traps, but JHQ is an 'open' barracks and not quite the same as Catterick Barracks. Barracks are not Soveriegn Territory in the same respect as SBA Episkopi or Dhekelia. I will check SOFA for you.
The GCP undertake speed and breathalyser checks on the (public) main road that runs through the camp. I think that Northern Biff is right; they have right of access under the SOFA but choose not to exercise it.

For the most part, we lease the garrisons, training areas and quarters from the German Government (or the individual States and some private landlords). Sovereignty has nothing to do with it.

The occasional difficulties that arise with the birth of children in Germany are to do, IIRC, with the poorly drafted nationality laws of the early 1980s.

Litotes
In RED; I believe this is true of Princess Royal Bks in Gütersloh. As far as I've been told, the Luftwaffe gained the land from Carl Bertelsmann AG before or during WW2, and after the war the RAF leased the land and subsequently the Army in 1993 when the Harrier force left.

When I was there, Carl Bertelsmann AG used the runway for their corporate jets and the HUGE mercedes' used to cruise in and procede just past the tower for departure/arrival. Can't remember what ID they used but I'm sure there's some PRB loiterer who could shed some light.

How the ATC used to laugh at us stupid squaddies when we used to run/tab/drive up their active runway :D
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Go to the Unit Lines and look at the massive poster that says "READ THIS".

It is the one with all the rules and regs and affect your rights whilst serving in BFG - funnily enough, it is all in there.
 
#17
As has already been stated ALL British Army barracks in Germany are property of the Federal Government, I've forgotten the name of the Ministry responsible as it has changed so often. German Authorities have the right of entry, but will almost invariably liaise with the RMP should they need to lift someone. In one case a soldier who was being locally discharged walked out of the main gates straight into the arms of the GCP, who had been briefed by the RMP.
Many many years ago a certain CO (insiders called him Mr Jaguar) of RAF Brüggen tried to stop the Forstmeister from entering the camp, now the Forstmeister was a German civil serpant. Civil Serpant had a sense of humour failure, not that Hermans have one anyway. He returned with a Court Decsion authorising entry and threatening Court action against anyone who attempted to refuse entry. Sorted.

Strictly speaking JHQ is not a barracks, it is merely a suburb of Mönchengladbach, see the roadsigns just before the VCPs. Anyone can enter on production of a valid MoD 90/F1250 etc or Ausweis. This has implications about policing. Impaired driving in a barracks is an RMP affair, but in JHQ the GCP can do checks and then it is eventually becomes a purely German affair. This is somewhat abbrieviated, but this sort of thing keeps me from having to work for a living. :D

PS. Note to all serving soldiers, UKBCs etc please keep up the bad work. :)
 

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