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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: August 2020

1 - Setting the Scene of a Jewish Lawyer, Like Fraenkel, in Nazi Germany


On September 11, 1933, in Samaden, Switzerland, outside St. Moritz, a German Jewish lawyer from Berlin shot himself to death. On January 30, Hitler had become Germany’s Chancellor; on February 27, a blazing fire gutted the main chamber of Germany’s Reichstag, its parliament building; and in late March the lawyer’s non-Jewish partner had told him that he intended to dissolve their practice together. The partner denied being an anti-Semite, of course, but times had changed and he needed to worry about his own family and his own responsibilities. Around the same time, a former client, now a member of the SA, the organization of Nazi paramilitary street fighters, warned the lawyer that he was no longer safe in Berlin and must leave.