Then-Major Michael Ennis (left) was part of the U.S. Military Liaison Mission in East Germany following WWII. "Our job was to collect intelligence," Ennis recalls. "The proximity to Soviet forces allowed U.S. observers to assess their military in the field.
Prior to the end of World War II, the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union signed an agreement for the administration of Berlin and the establishment of four occupation zones in Germany. The three Allied powers—France, Britain, and the United States—independently negotiated an agreement with the Soviets in 1947 to establish liaison missions. The U.S.-Soviet agreement stated, “Each member of the missions will be given
. . . permanent passes . . . permitting complete freedom of travel, whenever and wherever it will be desired over territory and roads in both places, except places of disposition of military units, without escort or supervision.”