Episode 13: Socialist Justice in the GDR

In this first episode of the new EuroStorie Podcast season we dive into the history of East Germany, more specifically we tackle some of the narratives when trying to conceptualize “socialist justice” in the GDR. How did the judicial system of the GDR come into being? How did the GDR manage to engage people in upholding and supporting the moral values of the socialist legal system? More importantly, what role does the socialist “legal consciousness” (Rechtsbewusstsein) play in legal practice? University researcher and EuroStorie team leader Ville Erkkilä helps us answer these questions by giving perspectives on socialist justice through the examples of social courts and law on the protection of common property.

You can also listen to the episode on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, and Radio Public.

Transcription of the episode.


Ville Erkkilä

Dr. Ville Erkkilä is the team leader of subproject 1, Law and the Uses of the Past.  He is a university researcher at the Centre for European Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki. He has a background in legal history and intellectual history. His research focuses on history of historiography, conceptual history, affective history, and more specifically, on the legal historiography of East Germany.

Aada Pettersson

Aada Pettersson is the host of the EuroStorie Podcast. She is a doctoral candidate in Subproject 2, Discovering the Limits of Reason – Europe and the Crisis of Universalism. Aada has a background in Classical Greek and European studies. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the notion of civil strife in European political thought. @aadapettersson

Floris van Doorn

Floris van Doorn is the host of the EuroStorie Podcast. He is a doctoral candidate in sub-project 3, Migration and the Narratives of Europe as an Area of freedom, security, and justice”. He holds an MSc in International Relations Theory from the London School of Economics. His doctoral research seeks to locate the EU’s external migration policies in both place and time, with a particular focus on the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF for Africa). @favd393


Episode no: 13 (series 3, episode 1)
Date recorded: 8 September 2022
Release date: 6 October 2022
Episode production, recording, and editing: Viljami Salo, Liina Aulanko, and Aada Pettersson
Music: Antonio Lopez Garcia
Web Content: Liina Aulanko and Viljami Salo
Banner: Tuomas Heikkilä
Banner photo: Unsplash/Jakob Braun