Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Summer Semester 2009

Transmigrations: Jewish International Lawyers between Law and Politics


Instructors: Dan Diner/Alexandra Kemmerer 


Migration transforms position. And even more so did forced emigration, unavoidable to escape from the early national-socialist measures of discrimination and persecution – well before the horrendous events of the Shoah that happened later. The transformations triggered by emigration shaped, in particular, the fate of Jewish public law scholars and international lawyers.  The events of the inter-war period – and in particular the establishment of the national-socialist regime – had a profound and lasting impact on their legal thought. In their new environments, most notably in the Anglo-Saxon context with its specific traditions, remarkable changes occurred; but also continental continuities could be observed. After the war had ended, a forceful wave of intellectual re-transfers brought that kosmos of ideas back to Europe. The old law, once left behind by the European émigrés, was seen with new eyes. Hans Morgenthau and John Herz turned to the new discipline of political science, while their teacher Hans Kelsen put his »Reine Rechtslehre« (»Pure Theory of Law«) at the service of a new global legal order. Karl Loewenstein strived to preserve, as a political scientist forced into his new discipline by emigration, a constitutionalist's perspective. Georg Schwarzenberger cultivated, as a lawyer, the political scientist's skeptical perspective; Hannah Arendt reflected upon the law in political theory. Hersch Lauterpacht and René Cassin became pioneers of a new inter- and supranational system of human rights protection. In the biographies and thought of these eminent protagonists, realism and idealism are as closely interwoven as law and politics.


The Leipzig Colloquium 2009 presents new approaches to the life and work of twentieth century Jewish international lawyers and constitutional theorists, from strictly biographical, systematic and also from history-of-ideas perspectives. Through a series of lectures given by senior scholars as well as promising younger academics, collective formation and individual experience shall be examined and discussed alongside with methodological questions of historiographical approaches.




Thursday, 30 April 2009

Jochen von Bernstorff (Heidelberg)

Hans Kelsen:

Grenzgänger der völkerrechtlichen Moderne


Thursday, 14 May 2009

Jana Puglierin (Bonn)

John H. Herz:

Ein Reisender zwischen allen Welten


Thursday, 28 Mai 2009

Markus Lang (Jena)

Karl Loewenstein:

Zwischen Staatsrecht und Politikwissenschaft


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Reut Paz (Rishon le Zion)

Making it whole:

Hersch Lauterpacht and the rabbinical approach to international law


Thursday, 11 June 2009

Thomas Mertens (Leiden)

Pleading international law?

Hannah Arendt on the Eichmann trial


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Sophie Enos-Attali (Paris)

Witnessing the Law:

René Cassin, l'Alliance Israélite Universelle and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights