Justice Imperiled: The Anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany
by Douglas G. Morris
University of Michigan Press, 2005 Cloth: 978-0-472-11476-4
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ABOUT THIS BOOK
"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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Part I. Nonpolitical Foundations and Political Maturation (1883---1922)
Chapter 1. Childhood, Law, and War (1883---1918)
Chapter 2. The Crystallization of Hirschberg's Political Consciousness (1918---19)
Chapter 3. The Emergence of Hirschberg's Politically Active Lawyering (1919)
Chapter 4. A Left-Wing Lawyer in Right-Wing Munich (1920---22)
Part II. Revolutionaries and Counterrevolutionaries before the Bar of Injustice (1922---25)
Chapter 5. Sitting in Judgment on Germany's War Guilt: The Fechenbach-Cossmann
Chapter 6. "Left-Wing Treason": The Fechenbach Prosecution
Chapter 7. The Fight to Undo the Fechenbach Verdict
Chapter 8. A German "Dreyfus Affair": The Rule of Law, Reaction, and Honor in the
Chapter 9. The Antiwar Veteran and the Militant Monk: The Stab-in-the-Back Trial
Chapter 10. From Political to Nonpolitical Justice
Part III. Freeing the Innocent: Nonpolitical Miscarriages of Justice (1925---34)
Chapter 11. Of Love and Death: The Pfeuffer and G"tz Cases
Chapter 12. Falsehoods in the Countryside: The Rettenbeck, Perjury Conspiracy, and
Konrad S. Cases
Chapter 13. Hirschberg, Freud, and Other Germans
Chapter 14. The Crises of War, Confidence, and Democracy in the Weimar Republic's
Part IV. Fighting Hitler, Nazis, and Anti-Semites (1926---33)
Chapter 15. A Brawl in the City Streets: The Schott Prosecution
Chapter 16. Crossing Swords with Hitler
Chapter 17. A Brawl at a Village Inn: The Murnau Prosecution
Chapter 18. Taking the Offensive against Anti-Semites
Chapter 19. Honor, Violence, and a Brawl among Nazis
Part V. Three Countries, Two Continents, One Ideal of Justice (1933---64)
Chapter 20. Nazi Law and Lawlessness: Hirschberg's Final Year in Germany (1933---34)
Chapter 21. Between Escape and Safety: The Years in Italy (1934---39)
Chapter 22. Freedom, Democracy, and Justice (1939---64)
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