This is a brief summary of human rights conditions in former East Germany. The author examines how Marxist thinking during the Cold War shaped the DDR's human rights regime, how human rights fit into the DDR's constitutional framework, and the realities of human rights abuses in the DDR. Human rights practices are described with reference to the principles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The author concludes with the assertion that human rights must not be trumped by ends-based agendas, even those that purport to eventually offer a better future. Rather, the continuous respect of human rights should prove an end unto itself, a stance proven by the heavy migrations of East Germans across the border into the West.This paper was first presented at a seminar in human rights law at Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington.
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