Stasi Zersetzung; political persecution and compensation

We were interested to see the following news article looking at the difficulties experienced by victims of Stasi activities in East Germany in terms of proving the harms suffered and the causation of those harms. This raises questions of known unknowns pertaining where by design, by virtue of often subtle secretive interferences, there will inevitably be minimal evidence that can ever surface. This is then of course exacerbated by the mountains of paperwork, or the loss or destruction of those files, as well as by the claim being directed against a successor state with no better information to bring to the table – it is harder to resolve uncertainty problems firmly against one party where that party is not in an obvious sense at fault.

Suggestions made in resolving the problem here evidently include a reversal of the burden of proof and tying the specific compensation framework in play to evidence of less than might otherwise be demanded by an authority or court in order to permit a claim.

Cf. also: in re the role of archives of transitional justice in dealing with missing persons and forced disappearances after a regime change.

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