Justice Imperiled: The Anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany

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University of Michigan Press, 2005 - History - 443 pages
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"This book reads like a legal thriller; it will leave you thinking about the nature of justice and inspired by the human spirit."
-Sister Helen Prejean

Justice Imperiled is the story of the brilliant lawyer Max Hirschberg, one of Germany's most courageous defenders of justice in the face of Hitler's rise to power.

Hirschberg lived an extraordinary life at a defining moment in German and European history. By the time he fled Nazi Germany in 1934, he had argued a series of cases in Munich's courtrooms that shed light on the history of political justice in pre-Nazi Germany and, by extension, the miscarriage of justice in all Western democracies.

Hirschberg was a rare figure: he fought for cases that reflected the new democracy rather than the old monarchy, that valued equality rather than hierarchy, and that showed respect for workers as well as aristocrats.

Throughout the Weimar period Hirschberg squared off in court against Munich's conservatives, reactionaries, and Nazis-twice facing Hitler himself. As he litigated politically charged disputes, he also began fighting to reverse the criminal convictions of innocent defendants and to study what mistaken verdicts teach us about the criminal justice system as a whole.

In a unique blend of biography and courtroom drama, Justice Imperiled captures the excitement of Hirschberg's actual cases and presents legal battles that still rage, in different circumstances, to this day.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Childhood Law and War 18831918
17
The Crystallization of Hirschbergs Political
29
The Emergence of Hirschbergs Politically
46
A LeftWing Lawyer
56
Sitting in Judgment on Germanys War Guilt
67
The Fechenbach Prosecution
86
The Fight to Undo the Fechenbach Verdict
110
The Crises of War Confidence and Democracy
228
A Brawl in the City Streets The Schott Prosecution
243
Crossing Swords with Hitler
254
A Brawl at a Village Inn The Murnau Prosecution
273
Taking the Offensive against AntiSemites
280
Honor Violence and a Brawl among Nazis
289
Nazi Law and Lawlessness Hirschbergs Final Year
297
Between Escape and Safety The Years
317

A German Dreyfus Affair The Rule of Law
132
The Antiwar Veteran and the Militant Monk
156
From Political to Nonpolitical Justice
181
Of Love and Death The Pfeuffer and Gotz Cases
193
Falsehoods in the Countryside The Rettenbeck
210
Hirschberg Freud and Other Germans
221
Freedom Democracy and Justice 193964
325
Abbreviations
337
Bibliography
409
Index
425
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Brooklyn, NY.

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