Právněhistorické studie / Legal History Studies (Charles University journal; below referred to as PHS or Journal) is a peer-reviewed Journal founded in 1990 and published by Charles University in Prague under the guarantee of the Institute of Legal History of the Faculty of Law of Charles University. It is published by the Karolinum Press. PHS is the only Czech and Slovak scholarly and scientific periodical publication in the field of History of State and Law.

Issue 1 of the Journal was published by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences Publishing in June 1955. The Journal was initially published by the Cabinet of Legal History of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science (CSAV), later by the Institute of State and Law (CSAV) and then by the Institute of Legal History of the Faculty of Law of Charles University.

PHS is issued three times a year in April, August, and December and it presents original scientific works/papers as well as reviews, annotations and news from the scientific field of legal history. It also introduces annotated texts of a legal history nature. PHS accepts manuscripts from domestic as well as foreign authors. Manuscripts submitted by foreign authors are published in original language, namely in English, Slovak, German, French, Italian or Polish.

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PRÁVNĚHISTORICKÉ STUDIE, Vol 49 No 2 (2019), 39–47

Drafting a New Civil Code in the GDR: Stalinism

Martin Löhnig

announced: 25. 02. 2020


The first attempt of the GDR to enact a new Civil Code started in September 1952 and failed with the revolution in June 1953. The old laws were thought to disturb the consolidation of socialist legal order and hinder the development of full respect for laws and the development of a socialistic state and legal consciousness (Walter Ulbricht). In the archives we find minutes of proceedings and drafts of the first two chapters in the personal files of Hilde Benjamin. These drafts were strongly influenced by traditional civil law thinking under which all members of the commission had grown up.

keywords: Civil Code; Hans Nathan; Hilde Benjamin; GDR; Stalinism; socialist property

references (9)

1. ECKERT, J. Einleitende Bemerkungen zur Entstehungsgeschichte des ZGB der DDR. In: ECKERT, J. - HATTENHAUER, H. (eds.). Das Zivilgesetzbuch der DDR vom 19. Juni 1975. Goldbach: Keip Verlag, 1995

2. FLINDER, M. Die Entstehungsgeschichte des Zivilgesetzbuches der DDR. Frankfurt/Main et al.: Peter Lang Verlag, 1999

3. ULBRICHT, W. Beschluß der II. Parteikonferenz der SED. Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1952

4. Gliederung und Richtlinien für die Ausarbeitung des Entwurfes zum Zivilgesetzbuch, BA Berlin-Lichterfelde DP 2/5523, fol. 113, 114, 115, 116, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 134, 135

5. Protokolle im Bestand BA Berlin-Lichterfelde DP 2/5521, DP 2/5523

6. Protokoll der Grund- und Unterkommissionssitzung am 8. Dezember 1952, BA Berlin-Lichterfelde DP 2/5521 fol. 17, 60

7. Protokoll der Sitzung der Grundkommission von 22. September 1952, BA Berlin-Lichterfelde DP 2/5521, fol. 5, 6, 8

8. Sitzungsprotokoll der Grund- und Unterkommissionssitzung am 9. Oktober 1952, BA Berlin-Lichterfelde DP 2/5521, fol. 12

9. VGB-E Erstes Stück: Grundsätze des völkischen Gemeinschaftslebens, Ziffer 16.

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