This article analyzes the use of narrative form in law, specifically with reference to conflicts over unification of the German nation. Since the end of the Cold War, local actors have been repositioned in disputes over property, historiography, and penalties for the East German political elite. A just adjudication of these disputes is problematic given that the actors appeal to several different legal registers, each with its own principles of legitimacy derived from peculiar historical circumstances, which are not taken into consideration in the unification process. [Germany, nation, narrative, law, historicity, classification]