Law after Auschwitz

Towards a jurisprudence of the Holocaust, by David Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Abstract

David Fraser’s thesis, in LAW AFTER AUSCHWITZ, is that there is little to distinguish between our fundamental understandings and practices of law and those of German lawyers and judges between 1933 and 1945. He aims to refocus jurisprudential efforts in order to confront lawyers’ collective, institutional and professional participation in the Holocaust. Rather than seeing the Holocaust as an extraordinary moment where SS madness dominated, by surveying the legal establishment’s accommodation and application of discriminatory laws, Fraser sees the Holocaust as “the culmination of the acts of ordinary people in the ordinary course of events within ordinary governmental and legal structures”(p.5), using techniques no different to today’s. For him, Auschwitz was “law-ful/full,” and rather than the extraordinariness of the Holocaust making it difficult to be judged in a court room, its ordinariness – its ordinary lawfulness – causes difficulties for law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581 - 586
Number of pages5
JournalLaw and politics book review
Volume15
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

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Auschwitz
Holocaust
Jurisprudence
Lawyers
Fundamental
Participation
Surveying
Madness
Accommodation
Causes
Ordinariness

Keywords

  • history
  • Auschwitz
  • law
  • jurisprudence

Cite this

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abstract = "David Fraser’s thesis, in LAW AFTER AUSCHWITZ, is that there is little to distinguish between our fundamental understandings and practices of law and those of German lawyers and judges between 1933 and 1945. He aims to refocus jurisprudential efforts in order to confront lawyers’ collective, institutional and professional participation in the Holocaust. Rather than seeing the Holocaust as an extraordinary moment where SS madness dominated, by surveying the legal establishment’s accommodation and application of discriminatory laws, Fraser sees the Holocaust as “the culmination of the acts of ordinary people in the ordinary course of events within ordinary governmental and legal structures”(p.5), using techniques no different to today’s. For him, Auschwitz was “law-ful/full,” and rather than the extraordinariness of the Holocaust making it difficult to be judged in a court room, its ordinariness – its ordinary lawfulness – causes difficulties for law.",
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Law after Auschwitz : Towards a jurisprudence of the Holocaust, by David Fraser. / O'Donnell, Therese.

In: Law and politics book review, Vol. 15, No. 6, 06.2005, p. 581 - 586.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

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