Against loveless judging: Fritz bauer and transitional justice in postwar Germany

C. K. Martin Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Fritz Bauer (1903-1968) is a key actor in postwar (West) Germany's arduous transitional justice process. His remembrance is embroiled in controversies of late due to his multiple minority identities as depicted in a number of recent academic works and cultural representations about his life. This article examines Bauer's original writings and speeches to deduce a neglected aspect of his 'intersectionality' - his conception of judicial reform based on his interpretation of biblical and theological sources. It proposes that 'loveful judging,' or judging with love, as derived from his critique against the 'loveless judging' during the Nazi era, is a fitting encapsulation of Bauer's thoughts on issues of punishment, resistance, reparation and resocialization. As such, the concept is useful both as an internal standard to evaluate Bauer's achievements, and as a unique contribution, based on the West German context, to the wider discussion on retributive and restorative justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-25
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Journal of Transitional Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • Auschwitz trials
  • Bible
  • Fritz bauer
  • Vergangenheitsbewältigung


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