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Judging the Past in Unified Germany

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Judging the Past in Unified Germany by A. James McAdams, 9780521001397
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  • ISBN: 9780521001397 | 0521001390
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/2/2001
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In recent years, no modern democracy has taken more aggressive steps to come to terms with a legacy of dictatorship than has the Federal Republic of Germany with the crimes and injustices of Communist East Germany. In this book, A. James McAdams provides a comprehensive and engaging examination of the four most prominent instances of this policy: criminal trials for the killings at the Berlin Wall; the disqualification of administrative personnel for secret-police ties; parliamentary truth-telling commissions; and private property restitution. On the basis of extensive interviews in Bonn and Berlin over the 1990s, McAdams gives new insight into the difficulties German politicians, judges, bureaucrats, and public officials faced sitting in judgment on the affairs of another state. He argues provocatively that the success of their policies must be measured in terms of the way they used East German history to justify their actions. In 1997, A. James McAdams was awarded the DAAD Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German Studies. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Government and International Studies at University of Notre Dame, in Notre Dame, Indiana. He is the author of East Germany and Détente (Cambridge University Press, 1985), Germany Divided: From the Wall to Reunification (Princeton University Press, 1992), and co-author of Rebirth: A Political History of Europe Since World War II (Westview Press, 1999). McAdams is also editor of Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law in New Democracies (University of Notre Dame Press, 1997).

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