Title

Legal Issues of the German Reunification

Authors

Keegan McMurry

Date

5-31-2018 1:45 PM

End Time

31-5-2018 2:00 PM

Location

WUC Columbia Room

Session Chair

Kimberly Jensen

Session Title

History Department Senior Capstone Presentations

Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Sponsor(s)

David Doellinger, Patricia Goldsworthy-Bishop

Abstract

From 1961 to 1989, 350 people attempting to cross the border from East Germany to West Germany were killed while making the crossing. With the opening of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and German reunification a year later, German courts began to address whether the border guards, their officers, or political leadership of the former East Germany should be tried for these deaths. If East Germany no longer existed, could West German laws be applied to these cases? This project examines this issue by examining trials that were conducted in the 1990s and the legal sources that examine this issue. Based on my research I argue that the trials, which were hastily organized, mistakenly went after the border guards instead of those that gave them.

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May 31st, 1:45 PM May 31st, 2:00 PM

Legal Issues of the German Reunification

WUC Columbia Room

From 1961 to 1989, 350 people attempting to cross the border from East Germany to West Germany were killed while making the crossing. With the opening of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and German reunification a year later, German courts began to address whether the border guards, their officers, or political leadership of the former East Germany should be tried for these deaths. If East Germany no longer existed, could West German laws be applied to these cases? This project examines this issue by examining trials that were conducted in the 1990s and the legal sources that examine this issue. Based on my research I argue that the trials, which were hastily organized, mistakenly went after the border guards instead of those that gave them.