The Compliment of Imitation: The Rise of National-Socialist Legal Organizations

Grunwald Henning

in Courtroom to Revolutionary Stage

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609048
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744280 | DOI:
The Compliment of Imitation: The Rise of National-Socialist Legal Organizations

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Even though the Communist Party legal organization attracted the wrath of its political opponents, these same opponents also grudgingly admired its success. Nationalist attempts at imitating it are discussed in Chapter Four. From 1922 onwards, right-wing organizations from the German Nationalist People's Party to the Patriotic Prisoners Aid (Vaterländische Gefangenenhilfe) tried to adapt the KPD's formula of combining legal aid and trial-based propaganda in cases like the so-called Feme murders. By and large, however, such attempts at imitation were unsuccessful until Hans Frank founded the Association of National Socialist German Lawyers in 1928. By 1930, more than 200 lawyers had joined Frank's organization, a success that prompted rival NS legal organizations to challenge Frank's exclusive claim to legally represent Hitler and the NSDAP, as the case of the ‘Potempa Five’ illustrates.

Keywords: German Nationalist People's Party; Patriotic Prisoners Aid; Vaterländische Gefangenenhilfe; Feme murders; Hans Frank

Chapter.  20278 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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