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Transitional justice in Central and Eastern Europe - Coping with the Communist past


Following the German reunification, the dissolution of the Eastern bloc and the collapse of the Soviet Union many countries in Central, Eastern-central, and Eastern Europe had to face the judicial undertaking of dealing with their communist past. While jurisdiction was itself a crucial power instrument of the communist parties for many decades, it now became a crucial actor in the legal reappraisal of the committed injustices and the restoration of the rule of law.

In the 30th year since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Deutsche Gesellschaft e.V. organizes a digital summer school and invites students from Germany as well as Eastern central and Eastern Europe to engage with a judicial examination of the communist past from a comparative perspective. Throughout the 5-day summer school the following questions among others will be addressed:


  • Which basic legal steps have the individual states taken in the areas of criminal prosecution, lustration legislation, compensations and rehabilitation?
  • What level of importance is given to the judicial examination of the communist past in regards to the social, political and economic transformation of each country?
  • To what extent does the comparative perspective on the issue shape the current transnational, cross border attempts of a collective memory?


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The digital summer school wants to put the process of a judicial reappraisal of the communist past in a comparative European and transnational perspective. The participants will come together in a variety of digital formats including lectures by distinguished academics from different countries, expert discussions and other formats of exchange. To conclude the digital summer schools the essays written by the participating students will be made available for the public afterwards.

A panel of experts will choose 20 participants from 12 countries to come together for a week in the summer based on the submitted exposés. The announcement and further information can be found here. Please use this application form until the 6th of June. As individual places are currently available, we are still accepting applications. Further interested students can be added to a waiting list after July 5th and will be informed about the availability in the short term.



Contact person:

Stephanie Winterhager
Policy Officer EU & Europe
Tel.Nr.: 030 88412 150


This project is funded by the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship (Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur)


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