Case 152 - Ethics and Emigration: The East German Exodus
by Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University
In the fall of 1989, thousands of East Germans defied Prime Minister Erich Honecker and his regime's ban on unauthorized departure from the German Democratic Republic and escaping to West Germany through Hungary,Poland, and Czechoslovakia. This case study, created for the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, explores a series of policy-relevant ethics issues: What does it mean to be a citizen of choice? How does this relate to prevailing notions of human rights? And what can and should nations do to promote "the freedom of movement?"