chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

    Lawyers Without Rights: The Fate of Jewish Lawyers in Berlin after 1933

    Edited by William J Choyke

    Lawyers Without Rights: The Fate of Jewish Lawyers in Berlin after 1933

    Lawyers Without Rights: The Fate of Jewish Lawyers in Berlin after 1933

    Edited by William J Choyke

    Lawyers Without Rights is about the rule of law and how one government – the Third Reich in Germany – systematically undermined fair and just law through humiliation, degradation and legislation leading to expulsion of Jewish lawyers and jurists from the legal profession.  Click here to learn more about the Lawyers Without Rights project and to make a tax-deductible donation.

    *Additional discounts may apply at checkout

    Log In to view your rate

    Unlock the discounted member rate

    Join first as a member, and then purchase this product at special member pricing

    Join Now

    As the rule of law comes under attack today in both developed and Third World countries, Lawyers Without Rights tragically portrays what can happen when the just rule of law disappears -- replaced by an arbitrary rule by law that sweeps aside the rights and dignity of selected populations. The story of the fate of Jewish lawyers in Berlin and all of Germany is more than a historical footnote; it is a wake-up call that a system of justice free of improper political considerations remains fragile and should never be taken for granted.

    The publication of the English translation of this book marks an exciting new step for a joint project of the American Bar Association and the Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer (German Federal Bar) that has focused on the tragic fate of Jewish lawyers in Nazi Germany and the meaning of the rule of law.

    Lawyers Without Rights captures the story of the occupational bans on Jewish lawyers and jurists in Berlin, the capital city and home to 3,400 attorneys. Of those, 43 percent were of Jewish origin, the largest group of any city in Germany in 1933. This story was first told in German two decades ago and updated in 2007. The book includes more than 1,600 bios of lawyers in Berlin who could no longer practice law after 1938 because of their Jewish ancestry, and notes the fate of 1,404 of them.

    The release coincides with the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, where on Nov. 9-10, 1938, Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, also called the “Night of Broken Glass,” some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.

    By then, German law had eliminated all but a few dozen Jewish legal “consultants” from the profession. As this book indicates, hundreds subsequently died in concentration camps or committed suicide; others fled the Nazi regime emigrating across the world, including more than 200 of them who eventually lived in the United States. A few, like Berlin lawyer Hanna Katz, a pioneer in the practice of law by women in Germany and whose career is detailed in this book, even earned U.S. law degrees. Katz, for one, lived in New York and later became a member of the American Bar Association.

    This release includes three significant additions—forewords from the Honorable Stephen G. Breyer, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and one of three sitting Jewish justices; Benjamin B. Ferencz, the sole surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials; and Ronald D. Abramson, a Jewish lawyer and philanthropist whose family foundation, the Anne and Ronald Abramson Family Foundation, provided support for this book. With minor exceptions, the second edition of Simone Ladwig-Winters’ book has been presented in its entirety, including prefaces from the Berlin bar, the author’s insights into her research, notes and abbreviations.

    Product Details


    Center for Human Rights


    ABA Book Publishing



    Page Count


    Product Code


    Trim Size

    7 x 10 Hardcover

    Publication Date

    9/6/2018 12:00:00 AM


    You might also like

    Related On-Demand CLE

    Related Events