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Strategies of Complaint: Interest Organizations of GDR Staatssicherheit Coworkers after German Reunification

Опубликовано на портале: 26-01-2015
Laboratorium. Журнал социальных исследований. 2014.  № 3. С. 27-54. 
Тематический раздел:
This article looks at the strategies of former GDR state, security service, and army personnelinterest groups unified in the East German Board of Associations (OKV). The largestof these, the Joint Initiative for the Protection of the Social Rights of Former Membersof Armed Bodies and the Customs Administration of the GDR (ISOR), aims to achievethe full restoration of the original pension rights of these groups — and especially offormer Stasi members. Since its establishment in 1991, ISOR has chosen legal complaintsas its main form of action. This strategy is accompanied by petitioning and sendingletters to politicians. I argue that ISOR’s choice of strategies is largely motivated bythe organization’s isolated position in German society, which makes successful politicalaction unlikely. ISOR’s demands are also directly linked to specific laws that can be protestedin court. Yet the quickness with which a legal strategy was taken up in 1991 isremarkable and suggests that earlier experiences with legal procedures and petitioningin the GDR also influenced this choice. The paper is based on a broad survey of OKV publications,as well as on personal observations of OKV meetings and 29 interviews withmembers of different OKV organizations in Berlin in 2012 and 2013.
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