German Historical Institute
Admission is free, but places are limited and must be reserved in advance by contacting the Wiener Library (email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7882 5690 ).
In 1941 the German Jewish lawyer Ernst Fraenkel published his classic account of Nazism, The Dual State: A Contribution to the Theory of Dictatorship. It is the only scholarly critique of Nazism written from within Nazi Germany. Fraenkel’s activities from 1933 through 1938 raise questions about the possibilities of scholarly inquiry under Nazi rule and more. While many Jewish lawyers lost their law licences, Fraenkel continued to represent clients in political trials until 1938. The talk will explore Fraenkel’s rare brew of practical activism and theoretical analysis, which tested the boundaries of anti-Nazi defiance.
Douglas G. Morris is a legal historian and practicing criminal defense attorney with Federal Defenders of New York, Inc. He is author of Justice Imperiled: The Anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany (University of Michigan Press, 2005). In 1998 he received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York for serving ‘as pro bono counsel to a human being under a sentence of death’.