Imperfect Justice: An East-West German Diary

Synopsis

This book is an account of the sudden death of Socialist law in East Germany and of the reacions, hopes and fears of some of its survivors. What happens when a legal system is replaced overnight by its ideological opposite? When people used to being coddled and disciplined by their law have to adjust to a State which expects them to look out for themselves? When men and women trained to serve and to legitimate their political system have to explain their complicity in its corruption? And when in this process of national soul-searching it is the Western victors alone who may ask all the questions? When the Wall collapsed, all questions could be asked, but speed was of the essence. Memories were fresh and eyewitnesses, still reeling from the blows of political change, were eager to talk about the world they so suddenly lost. The spontaneity of the author's encounters with lawyers, judges and law professors is preserved in the pages of this diary and will leave an indelible impression upon readers. No lawyer or lay person interested in the future of Germany, the history of Communism and the study of comparative law can fail to be moved and fascinated by this book.

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