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Parution : 08/2020
Editeur : Cambridge University Press
ISBN : 978-1-1088-3500-8
Site de l'éditeur

Legal Sabotage

Ernst Fraenkel in Hitler's Germany

Douglas Morris

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Jewish leftist lawyer Ernst Fraenkel was one of twentieth-century Germany's great intellectuals. During the Weimar Republic he was a shrewd constitutional theorist for the Social Democrats and in post-World War II Germany a respected political scientist who worked to secure West Germany's new democracy. This book homes in on the most dramatic years of Fraenkel's life, when he worked within Nazi Germany actively resisting the regime, both publicly and secretly. As a lawyer, he represented political defendants in court. As a dissident, he worked in the underground. As an intellectual, he wrote his most famous work, The Dual State – a classic account of Nazi law and politics. This first detailed account of Fraenkel's career in Nazi Germany opens up a new view on anti-Nazi resistance – its nature, possibilities, and limits. With grit, daring and imagination, Fraenkel fought for freedom against an increasingly repressive regime.

'German-Jewish lawyer Ernst Fraenkel is remembered for his study of Nazi Germany, The Dual State. But talented historian Douglas Morris goes far beyond reconstructing Fraenkel's biography, and following his path to his classic book, in order to dramatize the difficult choices of a pivotal lawyer in resistance. The result is an absorbing contribution not just to the history of German law in the twentieth century. It helps us to ponder the dilemmas of resistance for believers in the rule of law anywhere and even today.' Samuel Moyn, Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale University, Connecticut.

Douglas Morris is both a legal historian and a criminal defense attorney for indigent clients in New York City. He has published widely on twentieth-century German legal history and was a recipient of the 1998 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'.



1. Setting the scene of a Jewish lawyer, like Fraenkel, in nazi Germany
2. Fraenkel as a social democrat practicing law in nazi Germany
3. Fraenkel as an essayist supporting the illegal underground
4. Fraenkel as a scholar renouncing the nazi regime's dual state
5. Thinking about legal justifications for sabotaging a tyrannical regime
Conclusion. The Ernst Fraenkel dilemma.

Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law  £ 85.00 


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