According to Grimm's dictionary, the German word “Genugtuung” and its Latin equivalent “satisfactio” originally had an objective, material meaning: “Satisfying claims”, especially through “payment”.

The elementary legal term describes the restoration of an injured condition, alternatively through a replacement service.

Even the objective term has a subjective dimension, because satisfaction is always given to someone, a person whose rights have been violated.

That could be God too.

There is no such thing as absolute satisfaction.

Over time, a second, psychological meaning emerged. Satisfaction is also expected “for offenses and the like”; the dictionary points out that it was “originally just the compensation” and “is now being grasped internally, mentally”. When a person fights for their rights, both meanings usually come together. The dictionary confirms this with a quote from the most famous description of a legal dispute in German literature: The plaintiff asserts that he "has fallen into the obligation to obtain satisfaction for the offense suffered and security for future fellow citizens".

What Michael Kohlhaas was right - as the similarity of names almost suggests - should now be cheap to Helmut Kohl when it comes to his widow Maike Kohl-Richter, who went to the Federal Court of Justice to get the satisfaction for her husband that came after Judgment of the Cologne Higher Regional Court of May 29, 2018 is impossible because a claim to compensation, as Kohl had fought against his unfaithful ghostwriter Heribert Schwan, expires upon death. The revision was negotiated in Karlsruhe on October 25th. The widow had the same points of view put forward with which the hero Heinrich von Kleist justified his campaign through the instances and beyond the last: The fellow citizens should gain security from future injuries such as Kohl suffered,when Schwan filled a book with powerful words about party friends and other opponents, whose recordings were only intended to provide raw material for Kohl's memoirs. In order to prevent repetition and imitation offenses, i.e. in the interests of special and general intervention, the BGH should exceptionally allow a claim for compensation to be inherited.

According to the report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the chairman of the Senate expressed himself skeptically: “A deceased person can no longer be satisfied.” Maike Kohl-Richter's lawyer disagreed.

Kohl lives on in his image before history.

“This picture can still be met with satisfaction.” But how should one imagine that?

Kohl successfully countered the fact that Schwan's montage of quotations portrayed him as vengeful.

If his picture were still able to experience satisfaction posthumously, the Kohlhaas story would have to be continued as a ghost story: Subjectively, Kohl would still have to be able to feel a victory that the law denies him.

Whatever the outcome in Karlsruhe: The judiciary cannot satisfy Kohl.