Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



In this Article, Mr. Elling discusses the efforts to restructure and privatize the eastern German economy. The Article focuses on the work of the Trust Agency, or Treuhandanstalt, the agency primary responsible for privatizing property expropriated by the Nazis, the Soviet occupation forces, and the German Democratic Republic. These three regimes expropriated property under varying circumstances, and the Trust Agency now faces the task of determining the appropriate level of compensation or restitution for each property claimant. While the Trust Agency is concerned with awarding just compensation to the rightful property owners, the author notes that Germany designed the privatization laws to encourage investment, invigorate the depressed eastern German economy, and improve the standard of living among East Germans. Mr. Elling believes that the work of the Trust Agency will become a model for the other eastern European nations if it manages to achieve economic revitalization without compromising just compensation and restitution.