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tv   Jewish Lawyers in Nazi Germany  CSPAN  March 9, 2019 10:25pm-12:01am EST

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u.s. prosecutor at the nuremberg trials. later in the event, a panel of attorneys reflects on lessons learned from the holocaust and on human rights issues from the civil rights era to today. the american bar association and the german federal park cohosted this 90 minute event. >> good evening and welcome. my name is bob carlson here to have the privilege of being the president of the american bar association. it is an honor and a privilege to be here tonight. we are very grateful for our host, the new york city bar association and we especially want to welcome german justice miniatur -- justin justice minister. thank you for being here tonight. [applause] thinkalso want to c-span's american history tv for taping and rebroadcasting this evening's program.
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we will let you know by email and the program will be available on c-span so that you can share it with your friends and colleagues and let them know what a great evening they missed tonight. 2012, the american bar association has had a remarkable partnership with the german federal bar here in our joint ownership of a traveling exhibit on the fate of jewish lawyers in germany during the third reich. in november, we released the english translation of the german book on this subject. lawyers without rights if more than a holocaust book. it is a rule of law book. the jewisher for book council wrote, not only will lawyers without rights be an enduring work of scholarship, it also couldn't be more timely. , we soberlyogram
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look back at the past. but we do so much more. our presence here is a reminder to all of us that the rule of law is fragile. it takes commitment and work to maintain. rule of law is under attack, silence is not an option. most of us here tonight are lawyers. as lawyers, we share values no matter where we are from, no matter what area of the law we work in, no matter what our politics may be. the aba's partnership with the german federal bar underscores that our commitment to the rule of law transcends all boundaries. i am from butte, montana. i work in a small firm with five lawyers. what do you practice on main street, we all
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understand the meaning of the rule of law. jewish lawyers, in germany were among the first professionals to be persecuted. many had to flee the country from nazi tyranny. jewish lawyers faced humiliation and aggradation and ultimately, all but a few were driven from the legal profession. surviving nuremberg ,rosecutor wrote in his forward their suffering has not been forgotten, nor has it been in vain. we will never forget. joining us this evening are several defendants of these .awyers first and second generation americans whose ancestors were fortunate to survive the not the terror. -- survived the nazi terror.
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what all of the descendents of these lawyers without rights please rise so we can thank you for your family perseverance and let you know that the lawyers of forgotten what your ancestors forcibly gave up. if you would please remain standing for a moment. would descendents of all holocaust survivors please stand as well. [applause] you, we greatly appreciate that you could join us tonight. your presence provides a lawyers reminder, why must not remain silent when we see in justice. challenge unjust laws that undermine the rule of all. with great pleasure it that i welcome the president of the german federal bar.
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became president of the german federal bar this past fall. he is the third president we have worked with on the lawyers without rights project. we look forward to continuing our work with him. welcome. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you that you are here. it is a great honor for me to give you some opening remarks. bar999, the german federal decided to launch the exhibition on the fate of our jewish colleagues. atody would have thought, the time of the exhibit presented to you in new york today, 20 years later, and 74 years after the horrors of the
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holocaust would be as relevant as ever. unthinkable it was that all over the world, western democracies, right-wing radical strengthld regain such that jewish citizens are concerned for their well-being, and their families. it was also inconceivable that the largest opposition party in germany would be under opposition -- observation of the constitution. because some parts of these parties are suspected of inter-constitutional activities. they are now being watched by our intelligence services. no one could have imagined 20 years ago, that the reason for resorting to such things, would be the suspicion of -- for "180ns called
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in remembrance" with reference to national socialism. they called the holocaust memorial in berlin, "immemorial shame." the parliamentary party leader of this party declared in a speech to the party, which is now an observation, that hitler's and the nazis were " only brought successful years of german history." have we got to that point again? i do not think so. it is a fine line between the freedom of expression, the freedom of speech on the one hand, and the freedom of speech is protected in germany by the constitution.
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and anticonstitutional activities. we lawyers are touched by the principles and values of the rule of the. prohibit whiteot right-wing extremist ideas. if the ideas are already there, or have been slumbering there during those years since the end of the nazi era. however, we must be careful because our forefathers were not. demonstratelopments that remembering is not enough to prevent a revisionist view of history. we must ask ourselves how this could have happened. who was a perpetrator who drew profit from a situation. who among our colleagues did nothing at the time after 1933?
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what had actually happened after 1945? didle, especially the nazis not automatically turn into democrats. almost everyone a victim of the nazi reign of terror. the exhibit you opened, or you wanted to open two days ago at the washington university, unfortunately your plan had a problem so you cannot attend. this exhibit, i think will be a great effort to show what happened after 1945. [speakingt is called foreign language]. questionsl of these and provides the answers. this will about
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happen in the discussion. thank you very much for letting me here today. it is a great honor. [applause] many things go to all of you. you have made the effort to come here today. i would like to thank the american bar association, and president bob for their most valuable cooperation. without their support of the aba leadership and the executive director, the german federal bar would not have been able to show this exhibit today. and all over the united states in the past year. there is one man who i would like to think in particular. in fact, he deserves special thanks from all of us. organized this exhibit, including tonight, with dedication and commitment. he not only made it possible for
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this exhibit to travel through 55 u.s. cities so far, but also organized the translation of the book, which accompanies our exhibit. we give many thanks. [applause] many thanks to all of you. we are grateful that you are here. thank you. mr. carlson: we look forward to continuing the collaboration between our bar association's as we foster education is not only about the holocaust but the rule of a. the lawyers without rights project falls under the aba's center for human rights. that sure is a valued leader in the aba. judge bernice donald of the united states court of appeals
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for the sixth circuit donates tontless hours each year volunteer service on behalf of the aba, the legal profession, and our communities. judge donald has served as the secretary of the aba, as chair of our criminal justice sense -- just a section, and she is in centerrd year of the aba for human rights. i would like to single out one of the centers latest successes. we entered into an agreement which resulted to a six figure grant from the clooney foundation in convention with -- conjunction with colombia university. the purpose of the grant is to monitor child -- trials around the world that pose high risk of human rights violations. groups,hat could press silence speech, or target political opponents. some of the timely topics that we were here to visit about tonight. please help me welcome judge bernice donald.
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[applause] donald: thank you, mr. president. good evening. it is a great pleasure to be here with you tonight. i would like to also add my thinking bill, for his good work in bringing us all together, and in nurturing the lawyers without rights project. role inrves a vital remembering the suffering and struggles out of which the modern human rights movement was born. i would like to offer special familyto the abramson for their generous support of the project, and to all of our esteemed participants tonight for sharing their time, their talent, and their resources with us. -- may of you may nor
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know, the lawyers without rights project is housed in the center of human rights, which i probably chair. the center is a very fitting place for this project. the mission is to protect and promote human rights worldwide by defending human rights advocates, rallying leaders on vital issues, and holding abusive governments accountable under law. in particular, the centers justice defenders program, which supports lawyers and advocates around the world to our suffering abuse for their human rights advocacy -- abuse where human rights advocacy carries on the legacy through the lawyers without rights project. since its founding in 2011, the justice defenders program has helped more than 1000 human rights defenders in more than 60 countries. and leveraged more than $2 million worth of pro bono
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services to the cause. the center also advances international criminal justice through its projects on the international criminal court, atrocity prevention and response, and on the use of proxy fighters in armed conflict. recognizing the indispensable role of an independent judiciary and ensuring human rights for all, the center has recently begun a partnership, as you heard president carlson say, with the clooney foundation for justice, to expand trial monitoring, and to improve justice systems globally. these, and other center projects reflect a perpetual duty of lawyers to preserve, protect, and defend the legal protection and the judicial system around the world. , in fact,ure they are
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just. the lawyers without right project is a stark and sustained fact, when this people who are living in difficult situations because they are living under just bus -- under -- they attack lawyers and judges first because they want to go for the rule of law. justice, succeed in not justice reigns. if men were angels, no government would be necessary. for all of the advances of modern life, both technical and social, for all of the progress that we make, we must remind ourselves that human nature does not change. that progress is neither inevitable. that we can only hope to enjoy what lincoln called the better angels of our nature, by better
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managing the lesser ones. that is why the lawyers without rights project will remain important to the work of the center for human rights. to the american bar association, and to the legal profession at large. as a member of the legal profession, and as a member of the judiciary, it is with great pleasure that i introduce our next eager. -- next speaker. a judge to is a protector of the human rights and civil rights of people everywhere who cumber her -- cool,fore her before her. as you have seen in your program. well before her ascension to the 2003, judge jackson's career has been one of dedicated public service that has carried on a fabric -- family legacy
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dating back several generations. her grandfather, justice robert jackson, not only served as one of the great u.s. supreme court justices, but also was instrumental in arguing successfully for the nor import trials, ratherhe than proceeding with the execution of nazi leaders. several of the lawyers remembered and were recruited to rembergin some of the nu prosecutions. this moment helped establish a just rule of the in germany, and internationally. that remains a foundation of modern, international law. as he often did, judge jackson captured it best when he trialsed the nuremberg
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as one of the most significant tributes that power has ever paid to reason. on behalf of the american bar association center for human rights, i want to thank justice jackson. i want to thank judge jackson and her family for their profound service to the nation. i invite you to join me in welcoming her to the podium. [applause] judge donald: judge melissa jackson. judge jackson: thank you, judge donald for your kind introduction and many years of public service. your commitment to the profession, and to the advancement of women in the law. i am honored and humbled to be
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here tonight and to be invited to speak to all of you, and lead us into a historical phase of this program. my grandfather died in 1954 when i was two years old. i regretfully have no memory of him. to assist me in today's presentation, and to fill in the gaps in my memory, i have frequently turn to professor john barrett of st. john's university. john is here tonight. i do not know where he is. john, great to see you. shout out to john. john is somebody who has been very close to the family. he has assisted me in knowing my grandfather. he is the biographer of justice jackson, and he is also the writer of the blog, which is called "the jackson list." i highly recommend it. it is a superb work of history,
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which gives the reader a sense of my grandfather, the man. well as the intellectual giant that my grandfather was. i highly recommend it, and i think you, john, for helping me out. although i never knew my grandfather, there was a recurrent theme throughout the years at the dinner table. the drafting of the war kind -- war crimes indictment and the opening nuremberg trials. those accomplishments remain a point of family pride. my father was bill jackson. he was a distinguished lawyer in his own right. at the time, was a young lieutenant in the navy jag graduating after from harvard law, his father when his to join him father became chief counsel for the prosecution in northern
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bird. -- nuremberg. my father was able to take part hermann,terrogation of rudolph, and albert. one can only imagine what a profound experience in must have been for a young lawyer. he was only 25 years old. an indeliblee left impression upon him. my father spoke of his service in november as the -- in nuremberg as the most significant time in his life. he learned later that he would thever remain grateful for extraordinary opportunity it was to have a front row seat, and perhaps -- in perhaps the most important criminal trial in history. theial that established legal foundation for the international war crimes i
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continue today. the topic of tonight's program, it is appropriate that i note that five of the 21 german descendents who faced charges in the opening nuremberg trial were all trained lawyers. they all had practiced law before and during world war ii. the significance of this fact was not lost upon my grandfather. i will ask you to please listen to this excerpt from his opening statement regarding the charges against the lawyer. paul. take it away, wherever you are. [video clip] defendant, a lawyer by profession, i rushed to say.
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summarized in his diary in 1944 the nazi policy. race, are aews as a race which has to be eliminated. --"ever we catch one it is now to quote one more sickening document, which evidences the plan and systematic character of the jewish persecutions. an original report. written with two tenex thoroughness -- tutanic thoroughness, illustrated with photographs. to authenticate its almost incredible text, and beautifully bound in leather, with love and
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care. report of theinal sos brigade general -- ss brigade general in charge. its title page carries this inscription. the jewish ghetto in warsaw no longer exists. [end of video clip] to betterson: understand the fate of german lawyers, we are pleased to have with us douglas morris, a historian and federal defender in brooklyn. after the institute suggested douglas as a speaker five years ago, douglas has given programsy to speak at that complement the traveling lawyers without rights exhibit. cities rangingn
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in jacksonville, to nashville, to pittsburgh, and to milwaukee. he has written extensively on this subject. douglas might have the toughest job for any of us tonight. to boil downsked his usual 45 minute presentation to just 10 minutes. thank you dr. morris for your assistance, and welcome. [applause] dr. morris: thank you for that very kind introduction. i am honored and delighted to be here, especially among such distinguished honoree from the federal republic of germany, and such other distinguished participants.
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i am also humbled and a bit scared, but i will -- i understand we are under time limits. i will start. the photo, which is up on the screen, and which i can barely see from here, in my mind, it is from august of 1933. of lawures the nazi view in the legal system. the squiggles on the upper part of the photo are the paragraph --n, where german lawyers which for germans, represented german lawyers who were always deferring to their dog eare codes looking up the various paragraphs. in the nazi mind, it also represented what the nazis called the system. the paragraph sign in this photo is being held on a noose from the gallows. representing the nazi idea of
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destruction of the prior legal system. the man in the military boots and cap underneath the symbol is hans kurl. he stood out as the first impression minister who had no training. place in aevent took training camp for law students, in which the focus was not on legal education, but rather on physical fitness. the system, which i referred to, which hadral law, begun with germany's unification in the 1870's. which included jewish emancipation. it was a time when jew, that is to say jewish men, not women, could become lawyers and went into the legal profession. at the time of the republic
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madeen 1919 and 1933, jews up less that 1% of germany's population. proportionp a larger of lawyers in germany hovering between 25% and 30%. nazisaining power, the emancipation. they set in motion a five and a half your process of hounding jews out of the legal profession. within months of gaining power in 1933, the nazis struck their first blows. lawlessness on the one hand and law on the other hand. of seminal event was -- february 27, 1933. germany's -- was the building. on that evening it was gutted by fire. that became the pretext, the following day, for an emergency
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decree entitled the protection of people for the state. suspendedee -- decree civil liberties guaranteed in the constitution, and transformed nazi rule into a permanent dictatorship with unlimited power. , first on thess scene on the very night of the fire when police rounded up 4000 of the nazis political opponents. mostly communists and social democrats, but also including politically active jewish lawyers. under the rubric of protective custody, the nazis empowered themselves to arrest whomever they chose. the notion of protective custody represented a form of nazi action beyond law. chargesstee faced no
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and had no legal recourse. no judicial warrants authorized the arrest. no court orders could end the detentions. nazi officials could make their decisions secretly, and arbitrarily without heating any rules, and without facing any later in partial judicial review. of this man,ple michael siegel, a jewish lawyer in munich. he represented a client in protective custody. he lodged a complaint at a police station. police arrested him. they knocked out many of his teeth. a tour his trousers at the knee. what you can see below the knee are his long underwear. it was cold, they marched him barefoot through the streets with a sign hanging from his neck, i am a jew and will never
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begin complaining to the police. that is a second photo of the picture. on the night of the fire, the nazis targeted their political opponents. they arrested jewish lawyers as political opponents, not as jews. that not these turned their attention to lawyers and judges because they were jewish. lawyers inarresting the dead of night. they attacked courthouses in the light of day. the uniformed nazi thugs, stormed courthouses and occupied them. they searched for jews and chased them away. police invariably arrive on the scene too late. lawlessness, violence, and terror tactics accomplished many nazi goals. but they had their limits. in the short run, they helped
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dislodge the liberal legal order. in long run, they jeopardized the nazi promise of social order. the functioning legal system, however, could advance nazi systematically, consistently, and thoroughly. a major step in replacing liberal law with nazi law were two laws of april 7, 1933. of law on the restoration the professional civil service applied to justices. the law on the admission to the bar applied to lawyers. both laws anticipated the of 1935, byws privileging so-called arians and discriminating against jews. the nazis were pressed maddock -- pragmatic. the most important exception was for veterans of world war i. the law on the admission to the bar gave the legal profession a jolt. from early 1933 to october, the
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number of jewish lawyers in germany dropped dramatically 3200approximately 4600 to by more than 30%. the exception for jewish war veterans had made a difference. sparing most jewish lawyers forced disbarment. most jewish judges forced disbarment, or retirement. most jewish lawyers disbarred. abandonedxception of notions of legal equality. it expanded the discrimination against jews, to discrimination among jews. it created a generational divide, wiping out young jewish lawyers. he created a gender divide, eliminating women jewish lawyers, such as margaretta annmarie. marie.aretta an mard
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in early 1933 there were 19 jewish lawyers in germany by year's end. germany, bywyers in year's end it was one. the nazis limited jewish lawyers through unrelenting social and economic pressure. in 1933, nonpolitical jewish lawyers try to maintain their legal credentials. they had to apply for readmission to the bar. they lined up. bou, a lawyer in berlin said, "we had to wait for hours in front of the bar association building, in the rain, and under the watch of the s a rogues until we were let in one by one. most jewish lawyers tried to protect their own economic self interest. should proved to
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be a losing battle. not these leveraged early acts of violence into persistent intimidation. they had warned that good germans would never seek the jews legal advice. in this photograph, you might --ice the germans wore plastered over it or it -- over it. and then there is a warning not to hire a jewish lawyer. the nazis pressured courts to stop assigning jews to represent the poor. they pressured companies to stop retaining jews as outside counsel. clients deserted their jewish lawyers. lawyers lost income, business, and their livelihoods. choked,e economically socially isolated and humiliated. one jewish lawyer stands out in particular. from a photo -- photo in 19 41 when he was in
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the u.s. as a refugee. in 1933 he remained in nazi germany, even though he was a marxist, a non-communist social democrat. he looked -- he took on political cases, representing defendants charged with opposition, incitement and treason. he wrote anti-nazi articles in secret. he wrote his classic book "the dual state." which was the first comprehensive scholarly analysis of the nazi political legal system, and remains one of the best accounts of it. wrote anfraenkel article entitled "the point of legal work." the article set forth a theory of resistance to the nazis. four arguments
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about a legal work. first, it must be visible in order to vex the knotty powerbrokers. second, that it also must be visible to individual socialists in order to provide a source of moral authority and inspiration. the nazi must expose leadership self-deception about popular set to this -- popular -- to drive a wedge between to strikeand in order at the leadership principle, which was at the heart of the nazi theory of the state. thatkel argued work must take place without anyone arguing their time. he concluded his essay, "yes, we have become criminals. if we were not empowered by our legal that we would
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sink into the smog that oppresses germany. because we work illegally, we keep ourselves fresh. that is the point of the legal socialist work in the third right. to infuse the workers with strength. the waverers with trust. the sufferers with hope. .nd the rulers with fear does he legal work have a point? what would germany be without a legal work." raenkel's approach broke the paralysis that beleaguered so many jewish lawyers. on the one hand, it it rejected the stands of those jewish lawyers who hoped to wait out the nazi regime. theuddle through until scorch had passed. on the other hand, it offered the solidarity of political
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theon, which might ease pain of the economic and social isolation afflicting so many jewish lawyers. raenkel was one lawyer who tested the boundaries of anti-nazi resistance. i said at the beginning that there was a five and a half your process of hounding jews out of the legal profession. that depends on what an .1 uses. one uses.nt hitler's signed a decree to sparring all jewish lawyers within two months. it allowed for a tiny number of that wereal advisors lawyers representing the interests of jews. by july 1,had ended 1943. when there was another decree that handed over the prosecution of jews from the administration
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of justice to the police. legalt time, jewish advisers had already lost their clients. nazi germany had already deported almost all german jews to eastern europe for murder. 1941, 1942 had been the holocaust deadliest year -- holocausts deadliest year. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, douglas. thanks to the efforts of our speaker, the illinois holocaust museum and education center outside of chicago has been helpful with developing tonight's program. rick will now give us some background on this chicago area treasure, and set the table or tonight's keynote panel.
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harvarda graduate of law school, and cofounder of the executive committee, and the board of directors of the illinois holocaust museum and education system -- education center. welcome, rick. [applause] rick: thank you, judge jackson. on behalf of the illinois museum and education center, the 2017 national museum of the year, let me welcome all of you here. located in skokie, illinois, where the neo-nazis sought to march. i urge you all to come. the illinois holocaust museum is at the cutting edge of preserving memory, and universalizing the lessons of the holocaust. foundation, our project represents the first museum in the world of film digitally, and holographic lee
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-- holographicly our survivors so that they could be questioned long after they pass from this earth. our lead law enforcement action in democracy initiative trains and sensitizes every chicago police department cadet. and many portions of the military, to the abuses of authority and threats to our democracy and civil rights through the lens of the holocaust. this person referred to the holocaust as the finality of evil. others like rabbi prince, the former chief rabbi of berlin focused on the complicity of so many. speaking just prior to martin luther king jr. when he gave his famous "i have a dream" speech
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at the 1963 march on washington. rabbi prince said, and i might add, inwards highly relevant to tonight, "when i was a rabbi of the jewish community in berlin, under the hit-or-miss gene, the most important -- under the hit-or-miss you -- hitler re gime, the most urgent, the most shameful, the most tragic problem is silence. the concept of an up standard, a proactive force for change, i am illinoisdent and the holocaust museum and it is critical then as it is today. the rule of eyes under attack around the world. officers of the court and stewards of our democratic institution have a special role to play in this regard. we have a wonderful panel to
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illuminate the cascading issues flowing from our program. legal lessons from the holocaust when lawyers remain silent. the role of the private lawyer and public servant when the rule of law has eroded. of theere is a risk political process and undermining of our democratic institutions. this special responsibilities and risks of counsel taking on unpopular causes, and well beyond. we are fortunate to have dan abrams moderate our excellent panel tonight, and who will introduce the panelists. let me introduce dan. i may need some glasses. [laughter] ofdan is the ceo and founder abrams medium chief legal advisor for abc news. the host of the top rated cable network, and a
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host of serious xm "the dan abrams show: where politics meets the law." he was the co-anchor of abc's "nightline." host of the abrams report. as well as a longtime chief legal correspondent for abc news. dan also served as general manager of msnbc or he presided over a period of unprecedented growth. kindly join me in providing a warm welcome to dan, and our outstanding panel. thank you. [applause] dan: i think i am supposed to do a little entertainment while
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that is removed. thank you. very much. this is an important night. it is an incredibly timely topic. i think that a terrific panel has been put together to discuss some of the issues that arise from what we have just heard. let me take that to introduce our panel. next to me is former u.s. congresswoman elizabeth holtzman. career.pursued a public brooklyn district attorney and controller of new york. she emerged as a known champion of liberal and feminist causes. served onman holtzman the commission of the american holocaust. she is cochair of the government relations group and recently authored the book, "the case for
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impeaching trump." next to her is dr. katerina barley. she worked as a judge. she has been a member of the 2013 afterince serving as secretary general of the spd in june of 2017. she became federal minister for family affairs, women and youth. in september of 2017 served as acting federal minister of labor and social affairs. in consumeras been protection since march of 2018. next to her is michael tiger. at dukeprofessor university of law. previously taught at ucla and the university of texas he has argued seven cases in the u.s. supreme court. he has represented a number of
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clients, including when i met him during the oklahoma city bombing case. he is listed in encyclopedia among the hundreds great lawyers in u.s. history. he was voted third as lawyer of the century, but third is ok because it was behind clarence darrell and thurgood marshall. let me begin with minister barley. welcome. we are very fortunate to have you with us and appreciate you making the trip. . andministry has opened up exhibited the rosenberg files in washington and it opened this week. tell us more about the project and to what extent does it how german lawyers remain silent during some of the horrible injustices in the nazi regime.
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>> thank you. a warm welcome. the exhibit that you mentioned opened yesterday. it was at george washington university. the project that it deals with examines what happened in the after thef justice end of world war ii. what the scientists found out was, even though the minister, the first federal minister for justice was married to a jewish wife, and he was not a nazi, and his state secretary had jewish ancestors, he was not a nazi either. but, practically all the rest of
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the ministry was full of nazis. unit.were six heads of either of them had been members of the party. only one had not. he tried to get into the party, they rejected him because he was too active in the catholic church. what the project found out was that the tradition of nazi in they had carried on that haderal republic for projects. it had the example that in the an amnesty was passed
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for judges and prosecutors who the third during reich. result that the none of the judges and prosecutors were sentenced after world war ii. i did more of a project on the judicial system and the ministry than on the lawyers. what you can say is , the lesson that can be drawn from what we have seen and heard is, as some of the ,peakers have already mentioned nazi ideology is not possible to
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take over because we had too many nazis. it was because we had too few democrats that stood up, and who actually fought against these , and who ideas actually rose their voices. i think that is the lesson that can be drawn. ask you moreo questions about that time in a moment. , newly minted, seasoned, you are a respected icon who has always been willing .o speak out your career, whether it has been taking on unpopular clients or causes, epidermidis what many believe should be the role of a lawyer in a democratic society es whati's is -- epitimiz
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many believe should be the role of a lawyer in a democratic society. know what you have read and heard about the vietnam war and the direct action of america. today's drive to -- low income workers in precarious circumstances. think about those living in a filing for a fair hearing. , the clients are the seekers for justice and they are my legal heroes. they, the clients give each of us the power. tonight, we recognize the duty to address injustice. before there could be desegregation suits there had to be plaintiffs. when i argued my first supreme court case and managed to win, some 3000 rafters could be released from prison. lucy, and a player wants you tot
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think you stand at the center of every event by which the world has changed. your right to stand there is only because some brave soul has risked death, prison, and you are called upon to defend him or her. when i was 11 i told my father i wanted to be a lawyer. my dad was a secretary at lockheed. he brought up the urban stone biography of mr. stone and handed it to me. he said this is the lawyer you ought to be. he was for the people. darrell was one of my heroes. impala dwyeroun and others. edward bennett williams mentored and taught me. there is a lesson here that is closer to the lives of us in this room. when hitler brought that phony case against leftists for the reichstag
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fire. some brave lawyers stood up. they help them put on a defense that exposed the nazi lies and led to an acquittal in hitler germany. in england they stood up. frenchjoined by the leader who proclaimed, i am coming for you. organizationhis went to berlin to observe. in the years just after brown v. board of education, southern scores refuse -- schools refused to desegregate. brave children and parents, assisted by hundreds of lawyers took on those cases at financial reputation all and personal risks. later on, lawyers defended those for protesting other manifestations of races. we may remember cb king in georgia. many of those names are now forgotten.
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apartheid south africa i worked with dozens of lawyers, black and white whose efforts toppled the apartheid government. while the up organized south african bar accepted apartheid. saying in its bar journal, we must take the law as we find it. it is not our job to oppose apartheid. among my legal heroes is della omar, and the minister of justice in the mandela government. tonight's program honors the victims and the valeant. we know that for every germany -- lawyer who started in germany or south africa, hundreds kept silent. the struggle against injustice calls us as clearly as ever. he walks calmly across the street, is he not out of reach of his friends in trouble? the lawyers we honor, and their clients stood up.
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how can we stand down? heroes the human rights now, and in time to be? well, there is one of them seated next to every person in this room. [applause] dan: i had forgotten playwright is one of your backgrounds. [laughter] congresswoman holtzman, you have had a variety of experiences in public life, both elected office through appointments. from your experience, what kind of difference can a lawyer, a single lawyer make? and, to what extent does that differ in a role of someone who is elected, or appointed? >> well, words can make a difference for good and evil.
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that is one of the lessons that this panel has already mentioned. i had the privilege of working as a law student for cb king in the south. he was a black civil rights lawyer. even go into the courthouse to use the library there. he was a black person. he was hit over the head by a sheriff and obtained. it was dangerous for him every single day of his life and he worried for his family. just to defend people, and just to advance the rule of law. there was huge silence from the bar, and all georgia. silence from the bar and science in america. it took the protests and the of civil rights workers
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for the rest of the country to wake up and do something about it. i want to briefly talk about my experience of district attorney. i was just reminded of that here. when i was district attorney, i became district attorney in brooklyn, new york. i discovered, after having spent this time in the south, and then also having organized young law students around the country to go to the south to help out with legal struggles for justice, i discovered that, in brooklyn, -- actually, throughout new york state, a progressive economic the country, blacks could be removed just because of their race through the use of parenterally challenges. my first act of district attorney was to say that, as a andecutor, this is wrong
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oppose the practice. i will not go into the history of that case. it ultimately led to the decision by the supreme court. when we filed in the batson case, we called on prosecutors all over america to join decrying and opposing the right to remove people from juries on a basis of their race. what do you think happened? not one, single prosecutor in america joined in that opinion. 1980's -- in the 1980's. in our lifetime. this is about basic justice. it was loud silence.
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, batson casehand was one. that was a change. the highest court in new york state said, we had several judges who said, not only was the practice constitutional, but prosecutors were obliged to remove blacks from the jury in cases involving black defendants. about whatto talk one, even may be helped to shape the argument in the batson case. peoplewas in congress, came to me and told me that the of. government had a list nazi war criminals who were living in the united states and nothing was being done about it. politeaised to be very so i did not say to this person, you are out of your mind.
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i certainly felt that way because u.s. had thought the knot season world war ii. we prosecuted defendants of the trial, so what were not the war criminals doing in the united states? i cannot forget about it. commissioner at immigration if there was a list of alleged nazi war criminals. to my other amazement, he said, yes, we have a list. i did not know what to do next because i expected there to be a denial. i asked him, what are you doing about this? then i got this cloud of words and i saw that there was a big problem. wass the only 1 -- this 1974. nazi war criminals had been brought to this country by the
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cia and other agencies. they were allowed to live here, work here, they worked for government agencies that knew about their backgrounds. been ample opportunity from the end of the war 1945, to 1974. i was a brand-new congresswoman. i was able to force the government to change the policy. to begin to create a special unit in the department of justice that had one task only and one mission, which was to track down not the war criminals and bring them to justice. laws that to create ofilitated the process deportation of nazi war criminals. we cannot prosecute them here because of expo war factors.
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groups out there protesting with me, standing with me. this was pretty much my own endeavor. ultimately, think goodness, the u.s. congress did not support nazi war criminals. we got the laws changed. even though the justice department did not want to have a special unit dealing with nazi war criminals, we were able to do with it -- do that. 100 allegedore than not he war criminals that had charges brought against them. many were forced to leave this country. to the extent that justice was able to be done, in response to the horror, justice was done. it was only me, pretty much. that change took place. we could say the united
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states is not providing sanctuary to nazi war criminals any longer. the consequence of that is, we this is the idea of providing sanctuary to war criminals will extend beyond nazis. lesson of the holocaust, lesson of world war ii had not been understood around the world. we still have genocide and other problems. these actions, even by one person can make a huge difference. do not forget the indifference of other people to the need for justice. dan: i want to follow up on that and asked professor tiger. the title today is when lawyers remain silent. i hear you and congresswoman holtzman talking about the 1960's. would it be fair to say there are legal lessons from the 1960's when lawyers remain silent? congresswoman holtzman told
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us about albany, georgia and the fact that the southern white bar simply refused to do anything at all to facilitate the entry into the courthouse, to bring about the state of equality. we found the same thing in south africa. that is to say, here were a very precious few black lawyers who had managed to get into the bar. when i went to south africa in 1998 to work with the black lawyers association, 100 judges, three judges are willing to help black lawyers. three out of 100. even they received criticism. i have had similar experiences in my life. when you asked a whole bunch of people to stand up and write a brief about some important
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constitutional issue, it is surprising how few people really show up for work. we couldeartening, talk about the silence. what is heartening is that now i give lectures. -- acomes a generational generation of law students that says, we have to do something. and clinical legal education that gives people an opportunity to participate in these programs . an: taking it back, you are talking about the post war period. were there significant legal german industries in place? where the speaking out and saying, we have not figured out the problems, now we have nazis running the criminal justice system? was there any kind of push back in a major way?
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>> unfortunately, no. it took very long until one of the prosecutors stood up and said, this cannot stay this way. we are not prosecuting any of wholegal professional lists have been active within the nazi regime. they are still in place, they are still working, they are still there in very high-level positions. this particular person struggled with a problem because he stood up and said we have to change this. dan: did that voice actually lead the change? or do we wish it had? >> it did be to change. these cases were examined.
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then we have one person in the ministry whon the had been a nazi, and was in a position to change the law. a really very curious story because it was a law that had nothing to do with amnesty. he managed to include a into a law that included an amnesty. all of its state without any result in the end because we have this one nazi still in the military, still active, who passed this amnesty. in the end of these cases, they cannot be prosecuted. at least they became public. it is not a good story.
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it is not a success because the people stayed in the ministry. : at what point was it effectively cleansed of the not treat -- of the nazi influence? > the last nazis retired in e ministry. it was the 60's and 70's. there is the growing idea of universal jurisdiction. apprenticeship could not be prosecuted in chile. but the house of lords ruled that had the blair government could not -- had not chickened to, they could be extradited spain. the second thing is the international criminal court. we had a committee that helped get that thing going. and maybe that would be an effective instrument if some chap had not attempted to enforce human rights laws.
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we can just take care of that. more can be done. >> we change the rules so that --could have it help in happen elsewhere. , thatering rwanda genocide. germany is not a safe haven for them. >> excuse me. the house of lords decision is really important. i'm sorry, congresswoman. >> that's all right. i've lost my train of thought. i'm sorry. >> let me ask a big picture question and us and is you want to get back to it, we can get back to it.
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and as soon as you want to get back to it, we can get back to it. the role of judges. professor tiger, you talked about this attitude in your remarks where you said that we must take the laws and find perspective that existed in said africa, the judges that the rule is to enforce it. not our goal. it is not our job to make laws. it is our job to enforce them. expected -- if there are laws on the books in any country that someone doesn't approve of that you think are fundamentally wrong, how does it become the judge's role to fix that? >> what a lamentable lack of imagination.
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olsone scalia asked ted when, exactly, did the right to same-sex marriage arrive? >> the microphone. the microphone went off. but is like asking wind of sun? was it when pythagoras thought it did or when copernicus proved it did? of people of the same gender getting together and justice scalia was late to the party -- i don't think he ever joined it. was all't mean that it right up until then. we were reminded by somebody that it is supposed to try to work itself out. understanding,
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unfettered by the rules of people from 200 years ago. >> but putting the broadest constitutional principles aside, there is a constant discussion in our associations. professor tiger makes it sound easing -- easy. it is fairly simple. it is right and wrong. but it is not quite that easy. i don't think it is quite that easy. how can judges go about effectuating the kind of change? how can they avoid being silent? >> go back to the 1960's.
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i think there was one of all the district court judges that was not a segregationist. it was frank johnson from alabama. and then everyone of the others was and tried to stymie the efforts of desegregation. schools had to be desegregated, but they were obstinate. and they were going to stop it. you had a judges -- you had judges at the circuit court level that -- i don't know how it happened. judge tuttle and judge wisdom, these were people that the moral imperative under the law.
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understood the supreme court decision and understood the responsibility. judges, just like lawyers, live in society. they reflect all the values. some people have a coverage to move beyond what their neighbors think is appropriate. rescued jewsle during the war? of theirat the risk own lives. but not everybody. there are people that have the courage to stand up. scully's -- scalia's opinion, i carefully read his opinion and it is such nonsense. ideasbased on patriarchal -- the legalejects analysis is ridiculous. the idea that the man in the
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house -- man, got that one? protecting his family. that the weapon could be turned on the wife and is many times. people bring their ideological background. but the moral cards, where do you find that? you can't rely on that. it is something that gives backbone to the courts. case on gay marriage didn't arrive out of the blue. there was agitation around the country. judges, but if i look at the justice department today. this is the point i wanted to make before. i'm sure there are very fine lawyers in the justice department. but they are there defending child kidnapping, stealing
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children from parents. happen in the society after the holocaust and after the constitution. what do we expect those lawyers to do? we expect a lot of courage and a lot of moral integrity from people that it is very hard to be courageous in that way. how you support your family? will your neighbors think and colleagues think? >> we have celebrated michael tiger for taking on unpopular causes because that is what lawyers do. and it sounds like what you are saying is that the lawyers taking on an unpopular cause on the other side are to be reprimanded. does that not make sense? is thatwhat i'm saying we in the bar association discussions talk about how
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important it is for lawyers, because everyone deserves representation, to take on unpopular causes. notwe also talking about just someone who is accused of a crime? >> you can't just say heil hitler. that is my view about it. >> and there is a difference. [applause] i think you are talking about the department that calls itself justice. it is a political department of government and i thought the supreme court had long ago said that the lawyer from the government has a dual obligation. that is an obligation to look critically and see that justice is done. i will give you an example of the here and now. a part ofn declared
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the antiterrorism statute unconstitutional. thatolicitor general said he would comment on the first amendment. and he told the government to cut a deal. he said the statute is unconstitutional. i will take the heat and i will tell the bush administration that you can't take us to the court of appeals. it wasn't terribly brave. what did he have to say? these are strange in times and we can come and take back courage. pointed at terry nichols. it did not seem to me that the former chair of litigation that i can a no. but we recruited law students and young lawyers and people that all got excited. and many of them are out doing great work. your young lawyers
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loose. let them know that the chances of promotion do not diminish if they go out and start becoming involved in these things. they become better lawyers and more enthusiastic. >> let me ask a final question and we will take questions from the audience. in germany, along the lines of this discussion, how are lawyers viewed taking on unpopular cases and unpopular clients? public, it is not very fortunate to do so. but within the family of law professionals, we all know that every accused has the right to be defended. and so in the discussion you had, you distinguish between lawyers and judges.
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it is the lawyer's job to defend , even in unpopular cases because that is the right that every accused has. they really have to stick to the values and have a different system of course. we have a written constitution. this sentence that you mentioned, we must take the laws as we find them. a very critical one because that is exactly what they thought in the nazi era, to come back to this topic. law and we have to apply it. sorry. so we drew consequences from that. believesle, if a judge that law is not constitutional
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or that it violates human rights, he or she can apply to constitutional courts. the supreme court more or less. they can say i think that this law is unconstitutional. and then the court decides if it is or not. is toat we also try to do moreour law students sensitive on that matter. we thinking of implementing the of looking at law history and looking at what happened in the 20th century. reichappened in the third . i have a certain awareness that they shall not just apply with a find, but they have to think of and to think about the value that lie underneath -- the values that lie underneath.
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i think you can combine both. of the lawyer and defend unpopular cases while still sticking to the constitution. questionked a profound about the role of a government lawyer. i will follow-up a little bit on what michael tiger said. government lawyers have huge discretion not defending the accused. they have to do justice. we developed an open book rule. we weren't playing games with defense counsel. we're giving the defendant more information. prosecutors can operate in a much more sophisticated and nuanced sense of justice. there is no requirement that you have to be a brute. up they can also speak
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internally and otherwise resign. i just resigned from the homeland security advisory council. there were four other members of the council. people can do that. >> we have about five minutes for questions. another question in the back. i guess i can put this here. why don't i put my mike here and whoever has questions can walk up here. >> hello? hello? we know that for evil to triumph is when good people do nothing. room,e elephant in the for many people here if not
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everybody is that anti-semitism has reared its ugly head. i would like to have your thoughts about it and what lawyers can do. what they perceive and how they can fight it. i think of something that is very troubling. has gone to the campuses. the media is stumbling over their words about it. anti-semitism was something under the table. it wasn't talked about. and now it is right there for us to see an america. what lessons can we learn from this exhibit? and what happened to the people in the exhibit? that's my thoughts. >> since no one else is grabbing
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one of theone -- great crimes of the time we have been talking about in the 1930's that this exhibit doesn't address in any detail is the silence of people in the united states, the refusal to accept refugees from the nazi controlled areas of europe in the united states. was the u.s., the united kingdom, and so on. plus, the collaboration of those that was onlyance addressed after the french penal code was amended in 1964. the first place to start, those who do not understand history are compelled to repeat it. for a law professor, that's easy. but an intense study of that and the consequences of that silence which became complicit, it seems to me that
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it is a place to start. movinge book and see how that is. the stories that are told there. that first you tell a bunch of stories and then you get down to preaching about what to do next. new in-semitism is not america. beaten upw up, i got on the way to hebrew school. they were big signs saying restricted on long island. this is not a brand-new phenomenon in society. but it is brand-new that we have a president of the united states that says there are fine people on both sides when you have neo-nazis marching and when you have people who oppose them marching. when you have bigotry rearing its ugly head, jews may not be
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the first ones on the list. but if there is a list, we are on it. jews are going to be hurt. think about world war ii. destroyingocused on jews, but millions of non-jews were also killed as a result of that fanaticism. bigotry is a danger in this society for jews. so jews have a special responsibility to stand up against it. have a president, unfortunately, that has condoned bigotry, racism, and anti-semitism. [applause] >> we are out of time. >> can i just add one thing? phenomenonn american , unfortunately.
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it is something that is happening all over the world. survey. a in all of the member states, anti-semitism has risen considerably. u.s. not only in the what the american bar association is doing with this exhibit is one of the things you can do. think that thei witnesses of the era -- there are not many left and we don't at this time. butmore it seems far away it can happen again. it is important for lawyers and
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for anybody to speak up. i am very grateful for what you said. it is not about anti-semitism. it is about the question of respect and humanity. everybody.erns [applause] >> thank you all for this discussion. i appreciate it. thank dan abrams, tiger, minister barley, congresswoman holtman for a very -- [applause] for a very interesting, provocative, insightful, and informative discussion. i want to thank the new york city bar again for putting on this marvelous event. of the generous support
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goodwin procter and other firms for their support tonight. and the support of the german ministry of justice and the german federal bar. thank you. [applause] grateful for the assistance of the leo beck institute of new york and the , andois holocaust museum the education center for putting together this program. please stay and view the exhibit and consider purchasing a copy of the book which is on sale in the lobby. bill for thenk tireless effort on behalf of this project. he is often the person least likely to want to take credit, but we do oh him a debt of gratitude. [applause] leave, i have one
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final thing. i want to thank everybody tonight and thank you all for coming. we know that there is a roadmap to undermine the rule of law. we have viewed a portion of the not see playbook tonight. view some of the disturbing things that are happening here and around the world. we asct of the matter is lawyers, as citizens, we must speak out. when there are attacks on the judiciary. when there are forces at work that seek to undermine the rule we mustere and abroad, speak out. if you learned anything tonight, it is that as a group, we can stop hatred. we can stop tyranny. thank you all and good night.
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