This study examines the evolution of legal history, theory, and practice in Nazi Germany, paying close attention to its impact on the Federal Republic and on the German legal profession. Until the late 1960s, historians of the Nazi judicial system were mostly judges and administrators from the Nazi era. According to Michael Stolleis, they were reluctant to investigate this legal history and maintained the ideal that law could not be affected by politics. Stolleis seeks to honestly confront the past in the hope of preventing the same injustices from happening in the future. He studies a wide range of legal fields - constitutional, judicial, agrarian, administrative, civil, and business - arguing that all types of law were affected by the political realities of National Socialism. Moreover, he aims to show that legal traditions were not relinquished immediately with the onset of a new regime. Stolleis demonstrates clearly the continuities between the Nazi period and the postwar period. The law under National Socialism did not make a complete break with the law during the Weimar Republic, nor did the law of the Federal Republic nullify all of the laws under National Socialism.
Through a searching investigation, the book shows how the legal profession and the political regime both reacted to the conditions of the period, and moulded the judicial system accordingly. Breaking the conspiracy of silence held by the justices in the postwar period, Stolleis stresses the importance of researching Nazi law in order to confront ethical problems in the legal profession.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 278
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 235 x 160 x 26 mm