THE “CRIME OF JEWISHNESS”
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND ANTI-JEWISH POLICIES IN EUROPE
Organized by Laurent JOLY, Virginie SANSICO, Nikolaus WACHSMANN
(CRHQ-Caen, Université de Caen, Birkbeck University of London)
Memorial of Caen
October 22nd and 23rd 2010
“In criminal proceedings against Jews, the fact of their Jewishness is decisive, not their personal responsibility”
Otto Georg Thierack, German Reich Minister of Justice, 1942
The different stages in the destruction of the European Jews – from legal persecution to systematic extermination – have been explored in great detail by historians, both in regard to the development of Nazi decision making and in terms of the policies implemented in individual states. Recent research has amply underscored the fundamental role of the law as the basis for the various anti-Jewish policies, starting in 1933; several studies have been dedicated to anti-Jewish legislation and its application by civil and administrative courts. By contrast, the more complex – but no less crucial – role of criminal law (along with police and judicial repression associated with it) in the chain of anti-Jewish persecution has been rather more neglected by scholars. But the application by “ordinary” state institutions of what could be termed “antisemitic criminal law” constituted an important field of action for Nazi Germany and its allies. Our conference focuses on the role of European states’ criminal justice systems in the implementation of anti-Jewish policies between 1933 and 1945, seeking to provide the first survey of international scholarship. Panels will pay particular attention to the comparative dimension, in order to shed light on both local specificities and broader policies adopted across Nazi-dominated Europe.
The conference will be organized around three large themes:
1°) Antisemitic legislation and the criminalization of Jews
Topics may include:
• The introduction of antisemitic criminal law across Nazi-dominated Europe, including its periodization, timing and function
• The perversion of existing criminal law to step up the pressure against Jews
• The relationship between German legislation and laws introduced elsewhere in Europe.
2°) Mechanisms and actors in the process of repression
Topics may include:
• The various actors involved, including the police, judges, welfare officials and municipal employees
• The workings and the specificities of the repressive processes against Jews, from arrest to sentencing and detention
• Jewish defendants and their changing legal status in the courts.
3°) The criminalization of Jews and the Holocaust
Topics may include:
• The relationship between the legal criminalization of Jews and antisemitic policy in general
• The use of criminal statistics and trials in antisemitic propaganda
• The interaction between antisemitic criminal law, judicial repression and the destruction of European Jewry.
Proposals – including a 500-word abstract, a short CV and a list of significant publications – should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than April 15th, 2010. They will be examined by the scientific committee by May 15th, 2010.
Scientific Committee : Alain BANCAUD (chargé de recherche CNRS, IHTP), Marc Olivier BARUCH (directeur d’études, EHESS), Raphael GROSS (professor of history, director of the Fritz Bauer Institute of Frankfurt, director of the Leo Baeck Institute of London), Eric A. JOHNSON (professor of history, Central Michigan University), Danièle LOCHAK (professeur de droit public, Université Paris-X Nanterre), Mark ROSEMAN (professor of history, Indiana University Bloomington), Denis SALAS (magistrat, professeur à l’École nationale de la Magistrature, secrétaire général de l’Association française pour l’histoire de la Justice), Alan E. STEINWEIS (professor of history, Director of the Center for Holocaust Studies, University of Vermont), Michael STOLLEIS (professeur de droit public et d’histoire du droit, directeur de l’Institut Max Planck d’histoire du droit européen de 1991 à 2009)
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