Germany: Compromised by a Gigantic Lie

When a hesitant East Germany decides the fate of its former rulers, who should do the judging?

After the communist regime headed by Erich Honecker collapsed late last year, East Germans were appalled by what they discovered about the lavishly bourgeois life-style that the ousted party boss and his cronies had enjoyed at their well-guarded compound in the Berlin suburb of Wandlitz. Nonetheless, the new leaders in East Berlin have been slow to take legal steps against their predecessors, mainly because they have yet to resolve two difficult but related ethical issues: Who should be judged? Who should do the judging?

Both questions arise from the fact that virtually everyone in East Germany cooperated with, or was compromised...

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