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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 167391 Find in a Library
Title: Authority, Control, and Class Justice: The Role of the Sondergerichte in the Transition From Weimar Germany to the Third Reich (From Criminal Justice History: An International Annual, Volume 15, P 209-233, 1994, Louis A Knafla, ed. -- See NCJ- 167383)
Author(s): A McElligott
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwood Publishing Group
Westport, CT 06881-5007
Sale Source: Greenwood Publishing Group
88 Post Road West
P.O. Box 5007
Westport, CT 06881-5007
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the role of the Sondergerichte (summary courts) in the period of transition in Germany from a liberal democratic state-form under the Weimar Republic to an authoritarian state-form begun in 1930 and climaxing in 1933-34 with the consolidation of Adolf Hitler's personal dictatorship.
Abstract: An insight into both the means and character of this return to the authoritarian state can be found in the courtroom practice of German judges and state prosecutors. The first part of the paper presents an introduction to the political situation and the position of the judiciary in the transitional period from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich. The second part discusses in broad terms the historical context, politics, and role of the Sondergerichte (summary courts) after their introduction in August 1932 until the end of that year, and from their reintroduction in March 1933. The author develops the thesis that the judiciary was guided by its own set of political values, professional mores, and social prejudices that were independent of, although not necessarily different from, those of the Nazis. To illustrate this thesis, the third part of the paper profiles a particular case that occurred in the north German city of Altona. This case is presented to show that German judges and prosecutors shared a tradition of conflict with the working class in both its social and political entities. 108 notes
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Germany; Political influences
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