how were they carried when not in use? i saw a listing on ebay.de for a lot of equipment which showed a set of these in a slim fawn leather pouch (with the 'T-bar' secured by the flap), which i later identified as being for a mak clip. any ideas?
As for the Volkspolizei or other DDR group that used those, I don't know.
I will add that such devices were relatively common with US police departments during much of the 20th century. There used to be a set in the Seattle police museum. I think they sometimes had the nickname "come alongs."
This "Festhaltekette", literally "retrain chain" was used in Germany since the 19th century by the police, customs, DoJ and DoC.
Yours are maybe East-German, but my East-Berlin VoPo workmates, who bring their own ones after reunification, had exactly the same as we had.
I never saw or heard that there were special pouches for them, all I know that we (West-Germany) had a little pocket on the right front between the zipper and the right trouser pocket.
As here are many guys with VoPo-uniforms, I think they are able to answer if the trousers had similar little pockets.