East Germany: An Elaborately Squandered Opportunity
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This chapter covers the single case brought by East Germany against a suspected former Arajs Kommando man. The capture, investigation, and trial of this suspect—Stanislavs Šteins—in the German Democratic Republic were virtually contemporaneous with those of Arājs in the Federal Republic of Germany and both men received the same sentence. This case was probably prepared as part of East Germany’s obsessive competition with West Germany to prove itself the more anti-fascist of the two Germanies. However, the investigation itself was seriously and bizarrely flawed: the suspect was clearly guilty of crimes related to the Holocaust, but the process was so badly managed that almost all knowledge to potentially be gained from it was corrupted. In the end, the entire case remained secret.