BONN, DEC. 2 -- Soviet troops today denied German authorities permission to enter a Soviet military hospital near Berlin to arrest former East German leader Erich Honecker on manslaughter charges.

When Berlin justice authorities tried to deliver a warrant for Honecker's arrest, Soviet guards blocked the move, saying they were awaiting orders from Moscow.

Under a treaty Germany and the Soviet Union signed this fall, German officials must have Soviet permission before they can enter the bases that still house 360,000 Soviet troops in eastern Germany. "It's a very complicated situation," Soviet diplomat Valery Zhilin told the Associated Press in Berlin. "It will be decided at the very top."

But another Soviet official in Bonn said Moscow will not block the German government from bringing Honecker, 78, to trial. "It's just a matter of finding the correct timing and procedure," the diplomat said.

Berlin officials said this weekend that they have found documents signed by Honecker proving that the Communist Party chief personally ordered border guards to shoot to kill any East German who tried to escape to the West.

"In tireless round-the-clock work, state prosecutors have succeeded in unearthing Honecker's shoot-to-kill order in the minutes of the National Defense Council at the {former East German} military archive," said Jutta Limbach of the Berlin justice office.

She quoted Honecker as telling the defense council in 1974 that "as before, firearms must be used ruthlessly during attempts to violate the frontier and those comrades who successfully use firearms are to be praised."

The documents allegedly prove that Honecker was directly involved in the deaths of four victims of what East Germany called its "anti-fascist protection barrier." Nearly 200 East Germans died trying to flee. As a rule, citizens younger than 60 were permitted to travel only to other Communist countries.

Honecker supervised building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and later ruled East Germany in Stalinist fashion for 18 years. He was forced to quit during last fall's peaceful revolution and has lived on the Soviet base at Beelitz for most of the last year.