Talk, exhibit to relay lawyers’ plight in Nazi Germany

One of the first Jewish lawyers arrested in Nazi Germany, Max Hirschberg, lost his freedom in March 1933.

Held for five and a half months, Hirschberg felt that any night the murderers could enter his cell.

Now, Hirschberg’s biographer will offer a local lecture on Jewish lawyers in Nazi Germany.  The Sept. 16 lecture marks the opening at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee library of a traveling exhibit, “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany under the Third Reich.”

Although a brilliant and well-known lawyer, Hirschberg was held in so-called “protective custody” under a 1933 decree when the Nazis rounded up thousands and threw them in jail, according to the book, “Justice Imperiled: The anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany.”

On April 7, 1933, the Nazis instituted the Law on the Admission to the Legal Profession, forbidding the admission of Jews to the bar, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The law allowed disbarment, with exceptions including for those who fought in World War I. Hirschberg had received the Iron Cross in that war.

Douglas Morris, author of the “Justice Imperiled” book, will speak on “Discrimination, Degradation, Defiance: Jewish Lawyers Under Nazism” on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the Golda Meir Library fourth floor conference center, 2311 E. Hartford Ave. His talk is sponsored by the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Benjamin Cardozo Society of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and UWM Libraries.  The exhibit is open in the same venue as the talk, from Sept. 16 – Oct. 7.

The exhibit seeks to begin to provide a portrait of the fate of Jewish lawyers in Germany. Its stories speak to how the Nazis purged Jewish lawyers as one of the early steps to attack the rule of law in their country.

The exhibit, sponsored by the American Bar Association and German Federal Bar, has been shown throughout the United States. It has been brought to UWM by the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center and the Benjamin Cardozo Society, both of Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and UWM Libraries.

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How to go

“Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany under the Third Reich”

What: Exhibit at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Where: UWM Golda Meir Library, fourth floor conference center, 2311 E. Hartford Ave.

When: Sept. 16 – Oct. 7. Open 7:30 a.m. weekdays and noon weekends. Closed 11 p.m. daily, except closed 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Lecture, “Discrimination, Degradation, Defiance: Jewish Lawyers Under Nazism,” to open the exhibit on Sept 16, 6 p.m.

Cost: Free