Monday, December 21, 2020

Morris, "Legal Sabotage: Ernst Fraenkel in Hitler's Germany"

Cambridge University Press has published Legal Sabotage: Ernst Fraenkel in Hitler's Germany (Aug. 2020), by Douglas Morris (Federal Defenders of New York). A description from the Press:

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.

A few blurbs:

'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

'There is a rich biographical and analytical literature on the lawyer and political scientist Ernst Fraenkel. We know his clear description of the Nazism as a 'dual state', we also know how important he was for the modernization of political theory, especially in Western Germany. But an investigation of his activities as a lawyer and author in the underground after 1933, based on all available sources, has not yet been carried out. It is presented here in an excellent manner, and at the same time it sheds light on the old problem: How can one use the legal order as a means of sabotage against a system of tyranny?' -- Michael Stolleis

More information is available here. H/t: New Books Network.

-- Karen Tani