Although Jews made up less than one percent of the population of Weimar Germany, they made up between 25 and 30 percent of the legal profession, including a number of the leading lawyers. In this STAJE (Shoah Teaching Alternatives for Jewish Educators) Seminar, legal historian Douglas Morris recounts the tragic but inspiring story of the plight of Jewish lawyers in Nazi Germany. From its accession to power in 1933, the Nazi regime began a six-year process of eliminating Jews from the legal profession. Most Jewish lawyers tried to maintain their careers while being discriminated against and humiliated. In rare but significant cases, Jewish lawyers resisted. Ultimately, some Jewish lawyers emigrated while others remained and were murdered. As a whole, they left a legacy of fighting for the ideals of the democratic rule of law.

Watch the program below.

Photo: March 1933: Lawyer Dr Michael Siegel, who still trusted in the police as the defender of law and order, is marched across the Stachus square in Munich by members of the Schutzstaffel, who functioned as auxiliary police. He carries a board which possibly reads: “I will never complain to the police again”. Credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R99542 / CC-BY-SA 3.0