This book treats human rights as a political language and shows that human rights advocates in one particular setting, West Germany between World War II and unification, ranged across a very wide political spectrum. The tension between the universal, abstract nature of human rights principles and the historically specific context of post-Nazi West Germany amid Cold War and national division fueled controversy. While some West German human rights advocates and organizations sought to examine the Nazi past critically as a form of basic rights education, others developed human rights claims on behalf of Germans, especially the ethnic German expellees. West Germans also invoked human rights against East German communism. Only in the 1970s did human rights claims in the form most familiar today take hold: those on behalf of non-Germans, whether living far away or living in West Germany. Domestic politics, this book argues, were key to the emergence of all four main forms of West Germans’ human rights activism. It has been well-received as an innovative work in the history of human rights.