What justifies asking American readers to take time in 1990 to review German international law during the Third Reich, which ended in 1945? First, it is a dramatic story. People who hold certain views on international law are dismissed, exiled, imprisoned and even hanged. The penalties for disagreement are far more severe than tenured faculty members of the 1990s would even dream. Second, the peculiarities of the period enable one to develop some hypotheses about the interactions in the law among people, institutions, ideas and policies in a way that is starker and clearer than the path one must try to trace in calmer times when movements are more gradual and subtle. It is in a sense a not-to-be-repeated laboratory test of how far a ruthless regime can impose a radical change in thinking on a community of legal scholars. The very repulsiveness of some of the concepts enables one to distance oneself from them and regard them as objects of disinterested scrutiny. Finally, the period is widely ignored, even in Germany, in the literature on the history of international law and in many other subsequent studies that seem to demand some reference to events and writings of that time. Although a few highly useful works have appeared, mostly on limited aspects of the scene, the field is clearly understudied. It is perhaps most strikingly so in the work of those authors who since 1945 have not mentioned what they themselves wrote in the period 1933-1945. In general, the German legal community has only recently started to investigate what happened to law in that period.