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European Legal Systems & the Holocaust - LAW989

2 Credits

This course examines the ways in which law worked within Nazi Germany and Vichy France during World War II. How could established legal institutions in both countries (courts, agencies, the legal academy, private bar associations, etc) cave in to genocidal impulses utterly foreign to the training and intuition of lawyers and judges? Students will try to determine how so many ordinary lawyers and judges loaned their names and their work to the disaster. Easy answers such as “no choices available” or “they were all anti-Semites” do not stand up to the historical record. The class will focus on the task of learning living answers that challenge us as lawyers even today. (No prerequisite.)