University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of German and Russian

Symposium to Examine Role of Law in Nazi Germany

"Lawyers and judges were enablers of tyranny," says Alan Steinweis, professor of history and director of the Center for Holocaust Studies. "The Nazi dictatorship depended on the appearance of legality."

The complicity of the legal profession will be the subject of the fifth Miller Symposium, "The Law in Nazi Germany," on April 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Livak Ballroom of the Davis Center.

"Until now the role that the legal profession played in Nazi Germany — creating, consolidating and maintaining the dictatorship — has not been sufficiently appreciated by researchers in the field," says Steinweis.

How did German lawyers enable the deprivation of human rights, the theft of property, and mass murder? How did German courts help to institutionalize racist laws? How did Jewish lawyers try to resist their exclusion from the German legal system? Were German jurists held accountable for their conduct after the demise of the Third Reich?

At this event, several distinguished scholars from the United States and Germany will address such questions that are central to understanding the part lawyers and judges played in the Nazi dictatorship and the Holocaust.

The symposium, sponsored by the Carolyn and Leonard Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at UVM, is internationally recognized as a prestigious and significant venue for the presentation of scholarship about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. The symposium is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.

More information and a detailed schedule can be found on the Center for Holocaust Studies website.

In advance of the symposium there will be a screening of the film Judgment at Nuremberg on Thursday, April 16, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in 108 Terrill Hall. Francis Nicosia, Raul Hilberg Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Sudies, will lead a discussion after the film.