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Antifaschistischer Staat und postfaschistische Gesellschaft : die DDR, das MfS und die NS-Täter

Antifascist state and post-fascist society: GDR, MfS and Nazi perpetrators
[journal article]

Gieseke, Jens

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Abstract "The article discusses results of recent research on practices of law enforcement by justice and the Ministry of State Security against East German suspects of Nazi crimes. These findings challenge the classical image of a relatively consistent and strong 'antifascist' prosecution policy. Although denazification and law enforcement in the Soviet Zone of Occupation and early GDR were harsh, almost all sentenced Nazi perpetrators were granted amnesty up to 1956 (with the exception of those who were executed or died in prison). In the following period systematic prosecution had to take second place behind campaigns against West Germany's poor performance in this field. During the seventies, Stasi investigators located in East Germany several hundred members of police battalions and other units involved in the Holocaust. But due to extremely strict standards of 'process maturity' for law suits (which should 'guarantee' long-term sentences) and hesitant investigations, only a few cases where brought to conviction. This look behind the scenes of secret East German investigation policy shows a post-fascist society where the 'ordinary men' who enforced the Nazi genocide could well find their place." (author's abstract)
Keywords historical analysis; anti-facism; archives; crime fighting; self-image; Federal Republic of Germany; reintegration; national state; New Federal States; German Democratic Republic (GDR); GDR research; document; denazification; Ministry of State Security (GDR); judiciary; war crime; offender; post-war period; Nazism; criminal proceedings; coming to terms with the past; campaign
Classification General History
Method empirical; qualitative empirical; historical
Document language German
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 79-94
Journal Historical Social Research, 35 (2010) 3
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works