‘Nursing Revolutionary Fighters’ and ‘Legal SA-Duty’: Ten Political Lawyers

Grunwald Henning

in Courtroom to Revolutionary Stage

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609048
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744280 | DOI:
‘Nursing Revolutionary Fighters’ and ‘Legal SA-Duty’: Ten Political Lawyers

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Based on ten political lawyers from across the ideological spectrum, the chapter introduces the protagonists of Weimar political defence work. As well as sketching their biographies, it considers the lawyers’ career patterns, their distinctive self-view and highly politicized conception of judicial procedure. Relations with non-political peers were often tense, as were interactions within the group of party lawyers, inside and between political camps. And yet, this chapter argues, carving out the niche of political specialists in the bar was their collective accomplishment. Their professional ethos, while contrasting starkly with received norms of lawyerly conduct, was in important ways shared across ideological boundaries. It rationalized their abrasive and at times flamboyant style of pleading as well as their subordination to party discipline. While highly individualistic, the barristers formed a distinctive group without whose contribution the politicization of Weimar justice is hard to account for.

Keywords: lawyer biographies; honour courts; Hans Frank; Hans Litten; Paul Levi; Rüdiger von der Goltz; Walter Luetgebrune

Chapter.  24391 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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